Become a VISTA Host Site

What is a MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Site?

VISTA Host Sites partner with MENTOR Virginia to host a full-time VISTA Member at their organization for a year. Host Sites provide direct supervision to the VISTA Member during their service. Each VISTA Member’s work is driven by a VISTA Assignment Description (VAD), which is created by each Host Site in collaboration with MENTOR Virginia.

All VISTA Member activities are focused on building capacity in one or more of the following areas:

  • Mentoring Program Development/Enhancement
  • Marketing and Outreach
  • Volunteer Recruitment and Screening
  • Mentor and Mentee Training
  • Partnership and Resource Development

Some past MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Sites have included Big Brothers Big Sisters Services Inc., The Up Center, Germanna Community College, Norfolk Public Schools, Abundant Life Ministries, and the Youth Life Foundation.

Becoming a MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Site

All organizations interested in becoming a MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Site must be one of the following:

  • Faith-based or nonprofit organizations with a 501(c) designation
  • School districts or Educational service districts
  • Government agencies: city, county, regional, state, tribal, or federal

Additionally, to be eligible for a MENTOR Virginia VISTA Member, a Host Site must have an on-site mentoring program or engage in work with partner mentoring programs.

Consider the following questions when deciding if becoming a MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Site is the right fit for your organization:

  • Does my organization have a mentoring program in place or initiated plans to begin one?
  • Does my organization have the infrastructure in place to support a VISTA Member?
  • Has my organization utilized AmeriCorps resources in the past? If so, how will this project be different?
  • Is anyone at the organization (staff or volunteer) currently involved in a project like the one I would like the VISTA Member to work on? (Note: VISTA Members can’t replace staff positions)
  • How will we sustain the project after the VISTA Member completes the year of service and how will we measure the project’s impact?

Hosting a VISTA Member requires a fee from each Host Site for each VISTA Member. This fee is used to pay for sponsored trainings and travel, and to administer the program. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and MENTOR Virginia also pay a portion of the cost to host each VISTA Member.

The MENTOR Virginia VISTA Program Timeline

The timeline for becoming a MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Site is the same each year. Below is an outline of what this timeline looks like.

  • Year Round: MENTOR Virginia engages prospective VISTA Host Sites
  • January–February: MENTOR Virginia VISTA Host Site Application is open
  • March: MENTOR Virginia reviews Host Site Applications and selects Host Sites
  • March–April: MENTOR Virginia finalizes MOUs with Host Sites
  • April: MENTOR Virginia collaborates with Host Sites to write a VISTA Assignment Description (VAD)
  • May–July: MENTOR Virginia and Host Sites collaborate to recruit a VISTA Member
  • June: MENTOR Virginia hosts a training for Host Sites
  • July–August: VISTA Member begins service at Host Site

To ask questions or express interest in hosting, please contact Vanessa Reyes, VISTA Supervisor, at 804-828-1536 or vanessa@mentorva.org.