Fellow Applications for the
2021-22 Service Year Open March 1!

Join one of our informational webinars to learn more about CivicSpark, including the application process, timeline, and a chance to ask questions!

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is a national civil society program created to address the needs of local communities. AmeriCorps engages 75,000 Members annually who complete intensive service to meet community needs in education, health, public safety, security, and the environment. Since 1994, AmeriCorps Members have served over 1.4 billion hours for their communities. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorps Members, serving full time, completing a total of 1,700 hours over 11 months and working to support local communities, while gaining valuable experience and training. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit www.nationalservice.gov. AmeriCorps is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

What does it mean to be a CivicSpark Fellow?

CivicSpark is an AmeriCorps program in which Fellows are matched with State, local, and community-based organization Project Partners to support community resilience projects. Through project service, Fellows gain hands-on experience tackling the most pressing environmental and social equity issues that communities in California are facing today. Projects are spread throughout regions all across California, from Los Angeles and San Diego to Humboldt County, from the Bay Area to the Sierra Nevada passing through the Central Valley and Sacramento. Fellows also build strong networks of sustainability professionals and grow their professional, technical, and leadership skills through service and training.

You can view examples of projects Fellows worked on in previous years on Our Projects page. Projects for the upcoming 2021-22 service year will begin to be added mid-March 2021.

While each project is unique, all CivicSpark Fellows provide support to public agencies through a common four-step approach designed to help Fellows make meaningful use of their time within their projects, agencies, and communities:

  • Gap Assessments:  In order to understand their agency’s resiliency needs and goals, at the start of the service year, Fellows interview their agency’s staff and review key documents  and then work with their Site Supervisor and our staff to finalize their project goals, and a project scope they can implement over the service year.
  • Service Projects: Fellows spend roughly 80% of their service year implementing a specific research, planning, or implementation project based on the gap assessment results. Research projects involve analyzing and evaluating community issues, needs and potential solutions (e.g. inventorying current and projected greenhouse gas emissions or surveying affordable housing needs); planning projects involve developing a specific action plan for a target audience (e.g. bicycle / pedestrian plans or stormwater management plans); and implementation projects involve launching projects with measurable outcomes (e.g. monitoring broadband access or piloting a free transit pass program).
  • Volunteer Engagement: Fellows have the opportunity to foster community engagement and address community needs by establishing new volunteer programs or enhancing existing programs within or related to their service work.
  • Transitioning Expertise: To wrap up the service year, Fellows share their findings, summary of work and next steps. These take the form of a transitional report, and presentations or trainings with staff and stakeholders.

CivicSpark Fellows receive on-the-ground experience serving alongside regional leaders and community members to implement projects that increase the resilience of liveable communities. Fellows leave the service year with a better understanding of local government functions and responsibilities, experience addressing critical environmental and social equity issues, and coaching through individualized professional development plans.

Benefits include:

  • Project supervision and professionalism coaching.
  • Training on sector-specific tools and techniques.
  • Statewide networking with local, regional and state leaders.
  • An outcome-driven project management experience in critically important fields.
  • Living allowance, student loan deferral, health care, and child care support, if needed.

2021-22 Fellow Application / Service Year Calendar

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** Please check our CivicSpark COVID FAQ page for the most up to date information regarding our 2021-22 service year timeline.**

2021

March 29

First-round interviews begin for Priority applicants.

March 30

Fellow priority application period ends.

Regular applications begin.

April 30

Fellow regular application period ends. Late application period begins.

May 1

Priority applicant interviews with project partners begin.

June

Offers begin for priority applicants.

July 30

Fellow interviews with Project Partners end.

September 13

Virtual Orientation for 2021-22 Fellow Cohort.
2022

March

Mid Year Gathering for 2021-22 Fellow Cohort.

Project Types

CivicSpark Fellows work on environmental and social equity projects such as
ENVIRONMENTAL

Climate

Water

SOCIAL EQUITY

Housing

Mobility

Qualifications

CivicSpark Fellows must have completed at least a two year Associate Degree (AA) and ideally have experience in a related field. An ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:

AmeriCorps Requirements

  • Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident of the United States*
  • Ability to pass FBI, CA Department of Justice, out-of-state (if applicable), and National Sex Offender Public Registry background checks prior to service

CivicSpark Requirements

  • A 2-year degree (AA) from an accredited college or university
  • Commitment to the full term of service (11 months, 1,700 hours)
  • Capability to work in a professional office setting
  • Strong communication (both verbal and written) and teamwork skills

Strongly preferred

  • A degree in a related field
  • One year of relevant experience
  • Past service experience (e.g., volunteering, community service, etc.)
  • Experience with, or training in, outreach, facilitation and/or education

Desirable

  • Experience with local government operations and structures
  • Comfort with quantitative work, including data collection and analysis

This is an equal opportunity position and we prefer to place candidates who already live in the communities they will serve.

*At this time, we are unfortunately unable to accept applicants with student visas (such as F1 or F2 student visas, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visas, G series visas, etc.), or those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

Benefits

CivicSpark Fellows will receive the following benefits during their service year:

  • $20,000 Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
  • $6,195 Segal Education Award (at completion of service)
  • SNAP (Food Stamps) – for those eligible
  • Forbearance on existing qualifying student loans and payment of interest accrued during service
  • Health insurance
  • Childcare assistance to qualifying fellows, paid to an eligible provider of your choice
  • Professional development training
  • Network development with regional and statewide contacts in your project field.
  • Connection to a network of hundreds of CivicSpark alum, and hundreds of thousands of AmeriCorps alums

Register for an upcoming informational webinar to learn more!

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