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 Change Lives as a PASS AmeriCorps Volunteer


PASS AmeriCorps is now accepting applications for recent college graduates who want to volunteer to mentor local students and help them stay in school and out of trouble.

The program, administered locally by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), serves students in grades 3 through 12 at 29 schools across the county, including campuses in San Diego, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Valley Center.

Each PASS AmeriCorps mentor provides support for 30 at-risk students though academic engagement, community service projects, and parent outreach. Through AmeriCorps national service, they'll be able to facilitate positive change in a school and community.

"Students don't see the volunteers as an authority or as other students," said Marie E. Pecoraro, a project specialist who coordinates the program for SDCOE. "They see them as a mentor and someone they can trust."

There are as many as 39 full-time openings for the 2016-17 school year. Volunteers who are selected for the program will receive powerful experience, a $1,250 monthly stipend, student loan deferment, professional development, health benefits, and an educational award of $5,775 that can be used to pay student loans or any other educational cost in the future.

More information about the positions and application instructions are available online. Applicants must be at least 22 years old and have a bachelor's degree as well as experience working with youth.

"This is a great opportunity for young future professionals, those who really want to make a difference and do something meaningful," Pecoraro said.

Applications will be accepted from all over the country, but organizers are particularly interested in hearing from San Diego County applicants.

The PASS AmeriCorps program is part of the nationwide AmeriCorps program, which engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since the program's founding in 1994, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across the country.