PHENND Seeks VISTAs for Nonprofit Fellows program

Posted by PHENND on March 19, 2019

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 13 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 13 specific sites for the 2019-2020 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.

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.


  • 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
  • late July/early August — Mandatory Pre-Service Orientation with AmeriCorps VISTA in Philadelphia and program start date

If you have any questions, please contact Eden Kainer at or Ben Sereda at

2019-2020 Sites

Below are the 13 approved sites for next year.

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:


The goal of the PHENND Fellow’s three-year project will be to develop a highly effective volunteer-mentor program for JEVS Human Services programming that involves building recruitment, training, and support systems; documenting the system; overseeing its initial implementation; and training designated staff to ensure that the system is sustained at the end of three years. The PHENND Fellow will begin initially with Youth and Gateway Department programs in the beginning phases of the project and will broaden to include all of JEVS’ diverse programming over the remainder of their time. Apply here:

Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile Law Center advocates for rights, dignity, equity and opportunity for youth in the child welfare and justice systems. Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center is the first non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the country. Through litigation, appellate advocacy and submission of amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs, policy reform, public education, training, consulting, and strategic communications, we fight for children who come into contact with the child welfare and justice systems. This project will seek to meet the needs of transition aged youth in Philadelphia who are at high risk for homelessness and poor outcomes as adults by connecting them with needed resources and supports primarily through the use of a web based app, Youth Matters: Philly. The fellow will allow Juvenile Law Center to have the capacity to enhance the app and create widespread community awareness about the app so more people are aware of the app, use it, and are able to provide feedback. The fellow will be supported and supervised by staff at JLC who work on the app. In addition, the fellow will give us the ability to develop the improvements to how the app functions and increase community awareness. Apply here:

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (position filled)

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan 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 expand the capacities for volunteer recruitment and training, as well as identify specific areas that require watchdog involvement, e.g. housing issues, traffic court, or proceedings in criminal courts. Further, the PHENND Fellow will continue to develop the system of implementation for PMC Watches, streamlining the methods for sending volunteers into courtrooms, choosing which court issues they are sent to observe, and coordinating the schedule. Already filled.

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:

Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice

We develop leaders for peace and social justice in our school community, our city, and our world. We do this in school through a college-prep curriculum and a deepening base of extracurricular activities within our school to design meaningful and relevant learning experiences. The key role of the PHENND Fellow VISTA will be to integrate the big-picture community partnership work of the Frison Center into the daily life of the school. The Fellow will collaborate with the Community Outreach Coordinator, who’s work focuses on expanding the school’s partnership network, connecting more students with the resources and opportunities that community partners have to offer. The Fellow will also gather feedback from school community members that will play an important role in helping to inform the Community Outreach Coordinator’s long-term partnership work and shape future projects in a way that increases impact and relevance. Apply Here:


SEAMAAC’s mission is to support and serve immigrants, refugees and other politically, socially and economically marginalized communities. The Fellow will help us to further reach more deeply into the community with our programs to build an even broader base of engaged residents who are economically, politically and socially empowered to live more productive lives and give back to their communities. The Fellow will help us to stay connected, ensure our services are available when needed and help to identify and document the right resources (e.g., local businesses, lenders) for residents to connect to. Apply here:

Starfinder Foundation

The mission of the Starfinder Foundation is to enhance the personal growth of underserved youth through soccer and learning experiences that engage, inspire, and motivate. Our vision is to impel youth to imagine and aspire to a lifetime of distinction. With the guidance and supervision of the program directors, the PHENND Fellow would take primary responsibility for the development of a new Alumni Services Program including conducting needs assessments, researching best practices, developing the procedures and structure of the program, conducting outreach, building potential relationships with partner organizations, and developing content for programming. This is an excellent opportunity for the PHENND Fellow to learn and develop the various skills needed in non-profit work. 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.

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