How to Be a Successful Corps Member in AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is a service program that is based in the United States. Corps members are assigned to campuses and then deployed to other areas to assist with natural disasters, rural and urban development, infrastructure building and other community volunteer work. Terms of service are 10 months. Corps members must be between the ages of 17 and 24 and be United States citizens. Besides valuable experience, benefits include a small stipend and educational scholarships or student loan forgiveness. There are no special degree or experience requirements to join AmeriCorps, but it does take special skills and abilities to be successful. Learn how to be a successful corps member in AmeriCorps to find out whether it's a good opportunity for you.


  1. 1
    Commit to serving in the program. Be realistic about the challenges of serving to find out how to be a successful corps member in AmeriCorps. You'll have to work long hours and be with a group of other AmeriCorps volunteers for many hours at a time. There will be few opportunities for privacy or alone time. The work is physically and mentally demanding, and you'll be exposed to different cultures and lifestyles.
  2. 2
    Get in shape. Serving as an AmeriCorps member involves a lot of physical work and stamina. Volunteer work in AmeriCorps includes long hours, often in extreme heat or other weather conditions.
  3. 3
    Develop patience and understanding. You'll be working with many other people, including other Americorps volunteers and members of the community you are serving. Many will have values and lifestyles that are vastly different from what you are used to.
  4. 4
    Be prepared to be part of a team. Work on your communication and socialization skills. Most of your time will be spent working in a group setting. You'll need to communicate effectively with other members and put aside personal differences to get the work done.
  5. 5
    Adapt to cultural differences, and be flexible and open minded.
  6. 6
    Make sure you are ready to be an example of stellar citizenship. AmeriCorps will reject any applicant with a criminal record that involves violence and certain other offenses. Drug testing is done prior to and during service. Testing positive for drugs will result in release from the program and forfeiture of scholarship and student loan forgiveness opportunities.
  7. 7
    Accept any projects you are given. Projects are assigned prior to service. You are not permitted to choose the project or location you'll be assigned to. However, if you have other friends in the program you can identify them and request to work together.
  8. 8
    Talk to former AmeriCorps members to get a thorough understanding of the ups and downs of the program and learn how to be a successful corps member in AmeriCorps. The program helps you make connections with previous members by email or phone. The AmeriCorps website also includes letters and statements from previous members about their service.
  9. 9
    Show initiative. You'll be faced with many opportunities to be a leader or manage projects. The nature of the work will present challenges and problems that must be solved quickly.

Article Info

Categories: Learning Techniques and Student Skills