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American Connection Corps Program

Lead for America

Lead for America

United States
30,000 USD per year
Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The American Connection Corps (ACC) is a program of Lead For America, a national nonprofit organization focused on building a leadership force of moral, dynamic, and locally-rooted leaders committed to serving the communities they call home in every corner of this country. ACC is Lead For America’s boots-on-the-ground service corps, aimed at activating local leaders in rural and emerging communities to tackle critical, bi-partisan challenges to advance economic prosperity. Through ACC, Lead For America ensures that national service opportunities are indeed available in “every corner of this country.”

American Connection Corps Members advance economic prosperity in rural and emerging communities nationwide. Placed with a local public institution, members build critical capacity, attract resources, and activate community engagement across the following key areas:

  • Economic Opportunity
  • Health and Social Capital
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources

As such, bridging the digital divide was selected as a core campaign of the American Connection Corps and is an issue that unites all ACC Members as they serve across these fields. Through yearlong training and support, members are equipped with the tools to understand how they can channel these resources locally, while also building capacity across a diverse set of host institutions and issue areas to ensure that the opportunity that broadband access facilitates can be fully realized.

Key Responsibilities

American Connection Corps members are placed in rural, semi-rural, and emerging communities in backbone organizations that are in a position to best support an area’s growth and development. 

These include local county and city governments, regional planning commissions that serve predominantly rural areas, and 501c3 nonprofit and community-based organizations. ACC Members serve a wide range of towns and cities that can range from three-digit populations to more than 60,000. In some cases, members serve in organizations or state agencies headquartered in a regional metropolitan area, or state capitol, but that serve a larger region of rural communities.

American Connection Corps Members are placed with a partnering host organization and a dynamic local supervisor/mentor where their personal skill sets and passions can be unleashed to help move the community forward. Members commit to a year of service, focusing on issues important to economic opportunity, agriculture and natural resources, and/or health and social capital -- critical anchors to a thriving community. 

ACC members participate in three in-person training retreats, a virtual winter training, and select national conferences related to their focus areas. Through these trainings, as well as ongoing virtual “pod” calls and 1:1 Program Officer support, ACC Members are exposed to key issues facing rural and emerging communities across the country, get to build relationships with key national and statewide thought leaders, and develop real-world tools and skill sets necessary to get things done for America.

Skills Knowledge and Expertise

We strive to recruit a diverse Corps of ACC Members that reflect our communities nationwide. Our Corps is intergenerational and available to all, without regard to race, color, origin, gender, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.

Eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen, National, or Lawful Permanent Resident.
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
  • Be 17 years of age or older by the start of service.
  • Have not already served four (4) or more AmeriCorps and/or VISTA terms.

*The ideal ACC candidate will be committed to Lead For America’s values of: Bridge Building, Service & Sacrifice, Love of Neighbor, Innovation in All Things, and Commitment to Place.

Benefits

  • Every full-time (1700 service hours) fellow receives a $30,000 stipend
  • A $6,895 education award through AmeriCorps
  • Health Care Coverage Available
  • 1:1 monthly check-ins with an LFA program manager
  • Access to 1:1 technical mentors with national leaders, such as the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft and the VP of Government Relations at Land O’Lakes
  • Monthly pod meetings with other ACC members, sorted by state and/or topic focus.
  • Monthly topical plenaries across the full ACC cohort.
  • Quarterly check-ins with their Host Supervisor and LFA program manager to ensure continued project success.
  • Shared platforms and national news and media amplification with ACC partners, such as Land O’Lakes, Heartland Forward, Tractor Supply, American Farm Bureau, etc.

Note: The ACC Fellowship also offers 900 & 1200-hour service options when the program allows.

About Lead For America

Lead For America believes that building stronger communities, and a stronger America, starts by serving and leading, where you live. As a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit, Lead For America is building a leadership force of our nation’s most outstanding young leaders, who will make their communities stronger, change the narrative about what communities are worthy of investment, build friendships across lines of difference, and bring their experiences and relationships with one another to the highest levels of leadership in their communities and American life for decades to come.

Lead for America is an equal opportunity employer.