AmeriCorps applications facing Monday deadline

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 11, 2009

Government and nonprofit agencies and organizations looking for help from the new AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps center in Vicksburg have until Monday to apply.


For Contact Jen Prall at 601-630-4044 or for AmeriCorps NCCC project concepts forms. Contact Erika Roberts at 601-630-4048 or to become an AmeriCorps NCCC member.

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It is the first step.

“The application process is a narrative describing each project and highlighting how a project will impact the community,” said Erika Roberts, community relations specialist.

Applicants must call or e-mail Jen Prall, assistant program director. If the initial application is approved, Prall will invite the applicant to complete a full application, which will be due July 15, according to Rich Smith, program director.

“We try to e-mail them forms so that it will be typed and paperless,” he said. “We try to be green around here.”

The staff then reviews and approves applications about two months before a team arrives on site.

“We review the concept forms to see if they meet our regional objectives that include geographic diversity. We don’t want all of our programs to be from the same state or city,” said Smith. “We address whether they meet the type of needs in our plan — most importantly, disaster services that include disaster recovery and disaster preparation.”

He said not all concepts have to be disaster-related, but that is the corps’ top priority.

The corps addresses needs identified by nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi and public schools.

In the next two months, the first round of projects will be in Mississippi only — the project area served by the Vicksburg base will include Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Projects will begin for other states during the second, third and fourth rounds.

If a concept form is accepted after Monday, it will be included in the next round of applications, which begins January 2010, Roberts said.

Members volunteer in environmental cleanup, clearing trails, rebuilding homes, clearing debris, recovery response and tutor/mentor programs in schools.

“A project can be as short as one day or last from six to eight weeks,” said Roberts. “Corps members can do volunteer service in the community on their own, if they choose.”

AmeriCorps opened operations at All Saints’ Episcopal School administration building at 2715 Confederate Ave. in January.

Roberts said 20 team leaders will arrive at the school for leadership training on July 6, and 140 more NCCC members will arrive July 31.

The campus, which closed as a day and boarding school three years ago after nearly 100 years, is equipped with a dormitory, cafeteria, rooms for training, classrooms, a swimming pool, gymnasium and a tennis court.

“It definitely fits our needs,” Roberts said,

The corps provides a full-time, 10-month residential training program for corps members ages 18-24, “looks for speakers and additional training for them outside of curriculum in leadership, teamwork, cultural awareness and life skills” she said.

To submit requests, contact Prall at 601-630-4044 or To become an AmeriCorps NCCC member, contact Roberts at 601-630-4048 or


Contact Tish Butts at