PHENND Seeks VISTAs for Nonprofit Fellows program

Posted by PHENND on March 2, 2021

Join a cohort that works to strengthen communities and alleviate poverty by building capacity at local Philadelphia nonprofits.  What was once the Philly Fellows program, PHENND now seeks 18 full-time AmeriCorps VISTAs to be PHENND Fellows.

About this project:

PHENND Fellows places passionate and talented college graduates with local Philadelphia nonprofits as AmeriCorps VISTA members. The program has a three-fold mission (1) Support local nonprofits fighting poverty across a wide range of issues (2) Train and retain local talent to stay and work in Philadelphia and (3) Develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

PHENND Fellows will have up to 18 specific sites for the 2021-2022 program year. Each of those positions will be listed separately on MyAmeriCorps and if you have a specific interest in one or more of them, please apply for them directly. You will find all of them once you search the listings using PHENND as the program name.

Benefits & Compensation

AmeriCorps VISTAs commit to a full-time year of service for a minimal living stipend of approximately $14,312 per year. VISTA members are provided health coverage and loan forbearance for any current federal student loans. Upon completion of the full year, they also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award of $6095 that can be used to pay for future educational expenses and/or pay off federal student loans. SEPTA Transpass provided if/when service returns to in-person. Note, some sites are currently all virtual, some are hybrid, and some in-person at this time.

All PHENND Fellows will also receive extensive professional development as a cohort, in addition to any site specific training. PHENND Fellows participate in monthly diversity/equity training, monthly “Dinners with a Civic Leader,” and other monthly programming with other VISTA cohorts. PHENND Fellows are also allowed to take up to two courses at the La Salle Nonprofit Center paid for by the program.  PHENND Fellows will also be provided with a monthly transpass or have local travel (non-commuting) reimbursed.

Post-service benefits include: (1) Schools of National Service tuition discounts at select colleges (2) Employers of National Service and (3) AmeriCorps Alumni Network


  • February 1-May 15 — Application open.  Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis. Expect a phone interview if your application passes an initial review.
  • March 31-May 31 — Top candidates interviewed by one or more host site organization.  Offers made.
  • June 15 — Deadline to accept PHENND Fellow offer
  • August 2, 2021 — Program start date
  • August 1, 2022 – Program end date

If you have any questions, please contact Eden Kainer at or Jordan Burgh,

2021-2022 Sites

Below are the sites currently for next year.  More will be added shortly.

Anti-Violence Partnership for Philadelphia

The mission of the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia (AVP) is to end the cycle of violence in Philadelphia by providing a wide range of critical intervention, prevention, advocacy, support and counseling services to victims of violence and their families, free of cost, to help them rebuild their lives in the aftermath of violence. AVP provides support in getting victims access to needed services that are not always obvious, navigating paperwork and other less visible details that reveal systemic challenges that exist oppressively in the absence of equitable access to information. This gaping hole is but one of the many factors that exacerbate racial disparities and inequities amongst communities affected by violence. In this VISTA project, the PHENND Fellow will work with AVP to create a more complete system of client and community impact that reduces violence by focusing on data justice. The Fellow will create a system of data collection and reporting that captures the scope of AVP’s services, the demographic specifics of our clients and their communities, and the most efficacious practices for individual and community impact. This project will let AVP approach the cycle of violence in a new way, by collecting data that makes visible community-driven needs, challenges, and strengths, and the programs and practices needed by our organization and other community participants to better serve and empower traumatized communities.  Apply here:

Challah for Hunger

Challah for Hunger builds communities inspired and equipped to take action against hunger. Our 85 chapters on college campuses and at community sites come together to fight hunger in two ways: through philanthropy, we raise funds for 80 organizations annually that provide direct services to people experiencing hunger in real time; through education and advocacy, we build equitable and sustainable solutions that last. Before COVID-19, 39% of college students experienced food insecurity; the pandemic has increased basic needs insecurity for students. However, stereotypes about the “traditional” college experience, stigma around asking for help, and lack of access to campus, state, and federal resources lead many students to suffer in silence. We believe those who are most directly impacted by an issue have the most power to create change. That’s why our work to end campus hunger starts by empowering students to be leaders in the fight against it; we provide them with the training and resources to make change on campus and beyond, all while amplifying their work and voices to larger audiences off campus. The Campus Hunger Project, our initiative to combat campus hunger, trains 150 student leaders annually on effective advocacy and communication and provides tools for implementing new resources and policies on campus. To date we have helped students on 30 campuses successfully implement long-term changes to combat campus hunger. Campus hunger remains a hidden issue, and a major hurdle our students face in asking for help or advocating for new resources is the lack of understanding by non-students of how pervasive it is. The VISTA’s work will focus on amplifying and deepening the Campus Hunger Project by helping us reach new audiences, boosting student voices, and building relationships and understanding through strategic communications. Our ultimate goal is to develop a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to the fight against campus hunger. Apply here:

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia (C2C) is a non-profit organization that has been serving the Greater Philadelphia region for over 10 years. C2C serves children ages 0-12, living in low-income or homeless situations, with everyday essential items they need to thrive at home, at school, and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. The basic model mobilizes communities to collect new and gently used children’s items and engages individuals and groups to check, sort and pack these items into custom KidPacks containing clothing, toys, books, school supplies and for younger children, diapers and safety items—in our Giving Factory warehouse. With the combined goal of serving children and better engaging volunteers in all five surrounding counties of Philadelphia, C2C’s Hub Project will expand the reach of our mission and model. This project, housed in the Community Engagement Department, builds upon current relationships and creates new partnerships to open at least 4 “hubs”, local, permanent satellite locations outside of the Giving Factory where we can collect and distribute product and hold volunteer activities. Apply here:

District 1199c

The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund’s mission is: (1) providing access to career pathways in healthcare and human services for incumbent workers and job seekers through education, training and work-based learning; and, (2) building the capacity of the Delaware Valley’s healthcare industry to create a highly-skilled workforce through on-the-job training opportunities and the development of an education pipeline that aligns with career ladder steps. The PHENND Fellow’s support will allow our Intake Team to remain focused on their valuable day-to-day work with students, while also ensuring that the intake process is revisited and revised in a conscious and conscientious way that retains our focus on students’ best interests, while taking into account our program staff’s needs and program flows. The PHENND Fellow will use focus groups and one-on-one interviews to develop process maps, pilot intake processes and data flows, revisit those pilots with relevant faculty, staff and students, and iterate a process that works for everyone – but especially for our students, matching them with programming that best fits their career goals and ensuring that they are also provided with the wraparound supportive services and supplemental educational programming that will put them in the best position to succeed in the classroom and on the job. Apply here:

Fiesta Schoolyards

The mission of Fiesta Schoolyards is to provide a bright, colorful, and engaging schoolyard to each of the 100+ public elementary schools in Philadelphia with few to zero play amenities. Students at these schools now step out onto a vacant, barren asphalt hardscape that provides as bleak a message to them as it does a surface for their play. As we ramp up our deliverables beginning July 1, 2019 from three schoolyards per season to five schoolyards, the PHENND fellow’s role will be critical. Support is needed in daily communications between the stakeholders; preparing content such as timeline updates, project charts, powerpoint presentation updates, and updates to maps and school designation catchment areas; responding to queries from interested parties with descriptions of the program and tracking same; event planning for schoolyard launches; support in providing materials to prospective corporate and nonprofit partners; social media outreach to the adult alumnae of City elementary schools (an innovative strategy) responding to queries that result, and tracking same. Apply here:

First Up

First Up works directly with early childhood educators and professionals to provide them with best-in-class training and affordable technical assistance to ensure that programs run effectively and meet standards of state and national accreditation. First Up champions high quality early care and education for all young children from birth to age 8 in Southeastern PA through professional development, advocacy, and public engagement. We work tirelessly to ensure all young children in Southeastern Pennsylvania have access to high-quality early care and education through impacting all avenues of the early childhood education field. Apply here:

Global Citizen

The Campus for the City program is a partnership between Global Citizen and Girard College to leverage the diverse nonprofit partners throughout the area and the facilities of a 44-acre campus to promote student service learning. High school students at Girard College will work alongside nonprofit partners to support their work and bolster their own academic advancement. Their efforts culminate in a student-run service learning project that benefits the organization they are matched with as well as the community as a whole. Apply here:


HIAS Pennsylvania provides legal and social services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to ensure their fair treatment and full integration into American society. We do this through four distinct programs: Refugee Resettlement, Asylee Outreach, Legal Services, and Citizenship for Elderly and Vulnerable. HIAS Pennsylvania also advocates for just and inclusive practices. Our health services program currently assists newly-arrived refugees to access medical insurance and initial health screening services. Apply here:

Nationalities Service Center

The PHENND Fellow at NSC will address the impact of poverty by supporting low-income immigrants to actively engage in their children’s education. This project will work to break the families free from poverty by providing newcomer parents and students with the information, support and connections they need to succeed. The VISTA will develop an education system orientation, recruit volunteers to support families and develop relationships with local education support systems. As a result of the VISTA’s efforts, newcomer families will have the information, support and connections they need to actively engage with their children’s education. Apply here:

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (Counties Project)

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians can come to our courts with confidence that they will be heard by qualified, fair and impartial judges. The PHENND Fellow will play a leadership role in implementing our groundbreaking community outreach and civic education program, PMC in the Community, in seven underserved counties outside Philadelphia: Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton (Lehigh Valley), Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware. PMC in the Community is a three-part program for court users living in poverty, focused on closing the justice gap in communities: PMC Shares, a community outreach initiative that provides free legal workshops for court users; PMC Watches, a volunteer-run court monitoring program designed to increase transparency and accountability in the judicial system; and PMC Listens, a 24-hour helpline for pro se litigants and other people seeking information about our courts. Apply here:

Philadelphia Academies, Inc.

The Philadelphia Academies, Inc. (PAI) envisions a world where all young people have the skills, resources and networks to reach their full potential. Our priority is to address gaps in opportunities for students – particularly those that, by virtue of their economic and/or minority status as well as the location and resource-levels of their schools, have less access to high-quality education and/or the types of experiences and training needed to be adequately college and career ready. To that end, we design and implement industry-informed, career-connected learning strategies and school supports that position young people for success in post-secondary education and the workforce. Over the last several years, PAI has been working with a series of schools, referred to as the Ninth Grade Success Network (currently comprised of eight schools serving a total of 1,635 9th graders annually), to support teams of teachers in using data to identify students in need and to plan, implement, and track evidence-based interventions to support them. We have intentionally focused this work on comprehensive, neighborhood public schools (among the lower-performing in the City), which tend to have students who do not or cannot apply to special admission schools with academic and/or behavioral requirements (which limit access). This work has highlighted a need to address diversity, equity and inclusion issues in order to remedy individual, institutional and structural barriers to fully supporting 9th grade student success. In the first year of this project, we researched the landscape of such issues to fully understand the problem and identify best practices with respect to solutions, so that in this our 2nd year we can codify training outlines/materials and coaching supports for those working with students so they intervene and advocate for them equitably. The PAI VISTA project reflects the second year of a three-year arc of research, planning and implementation. Apply here:

Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders

The Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders’ mission is to develop, engage, and retain school and system leaders who transform schools, dramatically improve student outcomes, and drive systemic change to prepare all Philadelphia students for college, career, and life. We invest in Philadelphia’s Kindergarten through 12th grade education leadership with a conviction that this investment will return dividends for the more than 225,000 school children that live here. Our vision is to achieve educational equity in Philadelphia so every student in every neighborhood attends an excellent school that prepares all students to attain their dreams. Our flagship program is the Neubauer Fellowship in Educational Leadership, a transformative two-year leadership experience for principals with a proven track record of improving Philadelphia’s district, charter, and faith-based schools. The program develops critical leadership skills needed to elevate school performance and student outcomes in their schools and across the city. Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders has served nearly 130 high-performing principals through 6 cohorts of Neubuaer Fellows, who impact nearly 70,000 students every day. This critical mass of leaders represents more than one-third of our city’s school and system leaders and has the power to dramatically change outcomes for 70,000+ students in our city. In 2021-22, we expect there to be over 100 school and school system leaders in Philadelphia who are alumni of the Fellowship (Senior Fellows). The PHENND Fellow will support the design and implementation of a Senior Fellow Engagement and Impact Strategy that improves the performance and retention of school and school system leaders in Philadelphia. Apply here:

Philadelphia Futures

Founded in 1989, Philadelphia Futures has made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of students through the power of education. We support low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. The PHENND Fellow at Philadelphia Futures will help to build our organizations capacity to provide highly effective, data-informed college access strategies/programming for first-generation to college students through the following initiatives: 1) Data Quality and Management – help to identify actionable data, remove unnecessary data and improve data collection processes 2) Data Collection and Evaluation – help revise, distribute and analyze attendance, survey and other qualitative/quantitative data for Academic programming (classes, clubs, tutoring.) Make recommendations for improved attendance and increased retention based on data trends and best practices. 3) Volunteer and other External Stakeholder relationship management – assist in the management of volunteers who wish to donate their time and talents with Philadelphia Futures students through Academic tutoring. Apply here:

Philadelphia Legal Assistance – Farmworkers Project

The mission of Philadelphia Legal Assistance is enforcing and protecting the rights of individuals and families by providing accessible, creative and high-quality legal assistance and working collaboratively for systemic change. Farmworkers face compounding barriers to accessing the social supports available to them, so an important part of PFP’s work is seeking them out to inform them of their rights and available resources. With our currently limited capacity, planning and conducting outreach frequently competes for time with our casework on behalf of clients. Having support with communications and development activities will be critical to strategically utilizing resources while maintaining the delivery of accurate and accessible information to farmworkers and social service providers. To address these problems, our PHENND Fellow increase PFP’s efficiency and effectiveness by establishing structures for outreach planning and expanding accessibility of outreach materials, strengthening our provider referral network, identifying new sustainable sources of funding, and developing an archive of quality training materials for new staff and volunteers. Apply here:

Philadelphia Legal Assistance – Opioid Project

The mission of Philadelphia Legal Assistance is enforcing and protecting the rights of individuals and families by providing accessible, creative and high-quality legal assistance and working collaboratively for systemic change. The work of the PHENND Fellow will help to support and assist with the creation of a partnership between the Medical-Legal-Community (MLCP) partnership and the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs at Esperanza Health Center and Delaware Valley Community Health. Through their work, the Fellow will identify best practices, aggregate resources, and build relationships with health center staff to build the MLCPs capacity to best serve patients with substance use disorder. Apply here:


Playworks’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. We recognize the importance of play for cognitive and social/emotional growth. Our PHENND Fellow will work with our program team to coordinate a new pilot with the School District of Philadelphia and help our region communicate the outcomes of this work–both to school partners as well as to our broader stakeholders. We will need to build our capacity in our internal and external communications; we will need to develop a plan to gather qualitative, as well as quantitative, data from this pilot and we need to focus on how to shift our narrative and brand within the District as not only a direct service provider, but also a trainer/capacity builder. Lastly, we would like the Fellow to help us translate the work and findings of this pilot into an implementation plan that we can roll out in Philadelphia, and hopefully other districts in the area. Apply here:

Urban Tree Connection

Urban Tree Connection’s mission is to build a neighborhood rooted food and land system through community leadership development and land-based strategies in West Philadelphia. UTC works primarily with residents of West Philadelphia’s Haddington neighborhood to develop community-driven greening and gardening projects on vacant land. UTC has partnered with residents to redevelop vacant lots, together, we have repurposed these spaces for communal growing and gathering, sustainable food production and affordable food distribution, and multi-generational community health and wellness education. The overall goal of the VISTA project is to build UTC’s capacity to achieve our mission. The organization recently undertook a strategic planning process, and we are eager to enact our plan and move towards UTC’s long-term goals. The VISTA will play a key role in implementing strategic goals; assessing current programs and identifying key benchmarks to measure program impact; and developing UTC’s branding in order to garner resources, increase external visibility, and grow our community of stakeholders and leaders. Apply here:

West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC)

WePAC’s mission is to promote childhood literacy and stimulate an interest in reading by engaging volunteers in Philadelphia public elementary schools to re-open and staff libraries. The PHENND Fellow will serve this role as the onsite manager of library expansions for WePAC, working in close partnership with our Program Manager and helping us to systematize the process for new library openings. In the process, the Fellow will also build WePAC’s capacity by growing our volunteer ranks, establishing a community connection/pipeline that will yield results for us through the future. The work that the Fellow will do to systematize the reopening of libraries will ultimately provide WePAC with the critical foundation it needs to sustain its growth and expansion after the Fellow’s term ends. Apply here:

YES Philly

YESPhilly (aka Youth Empowerment Services) is an alternative high school whose mission is to develop a broad base of opportunities for Philadelphia’s out-of-school youth to prepare them to become successful, self-sufficient adults. The PHENND Fellow will serve as the organizer and coordinator of the YESPhilly Center. For a PHENND Fellow, this is an exciting opportunity to build something impactful for YESPhilly and its surrounding community. The Fellow will connect to community members and conduct focus groups and interviews to solicit input regarding resources, activities and events that are of interest and value. The Fellow will serve as a connector by gathering information about local programs that are looking for participants and/or for free or low-cost space to offer their training—and seek good matches between community interest and available opportunities. Apply here:

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