The Corporation for National and Community Service is a U.S. federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs, Senior Corps and AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps, in turn, engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year with community agencies across the country. There are three different kinds of AmeriCorps programs:

  • AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a regional disaster relief-based program;
  • AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), which focuses on building the capacity of local organizations to meet needs; and
  • AmeriCorps State/National programs, which supports a wide range of local service programs.

Rochester Youth Year is an AmeriCorps VISTA program based in Rochester, NY. For over 50 years, VISTA has been helping bring communities and individuals out of poverty. Today, approximately 6,500 VISTA members serve in hundreds of nonprofit organizations and public agencies throughout the country. Members provide indirect, capacity-building service to support sustainable solutions to poverty.



Indirect, capacity-building activities enhance the mission and strategy, as well as the systems and infrastructure, of an organization. They are services that enable organizations to provide more, better, and sustained direct services that address community needs.

Examples of indirect services:

    • Recruiting, training, and managing volunteers
    • Building community partnerships
    • Writing grants or fundraising for specific projects
    • Strategic planning and research
    • Assessing program effectiveness
    • Improving mechanisms and procedures to be more efficient and effective

Examples of direct service:

    • Tutoring students
    • Participating in a student support circle
    • Managing social services caseloads
    • Performing overly administrative tasks



Unlike other programs, Rochester Youth Year is geographically bound to the greater Rochester, NY region. This means that we are able to bring our corps together multiple times per month for personal and professional development. We also bring together partner agencies several times per year for organizational support and networking.

We recognize that VISTA service is more than the hours spent on-site. It’s also the experience of learning to live modestly, getting to know a new community, and, for many, embracing the challenges of independent adulthood for the first time. Our team is here as a resource for all of the ups and downs of service.