FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

**At this time, GrizzlyCorps is planning to continue with our current 2022-2023 service year and recruitment timeline, but given such a fluid situation with COVID-19, plans may change. View our COVID-19 FAQ here. 

 

What is GrizzlyCorps’ connection to UC Berkeley?

 

GrizzlyCorps is based out of the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley Law. Our program was developed as part of Project Climate to promote climate change solutions with significant potential. GrizzlyCorps is administered by the University of California, Berkeley. All of our Fellows must go through the university onboarding process in addition to AmeriCorps onboarding. 

 

What is GrizzlyCorps’ application process? 

 

GrizzlyCorps will review all applications and resumes once the application deadline has passed. GrizzlyCorps staff will select candidates for a preliminary phone screen which will then follow with a first-round interview with GrizzlyCorps staff. After the first-round interviews, GrizzlyCorps will review the results, and based on the applicant qualifications, site preference, and position requirements, GrizzlyCorps will match applicants with Project Partners for a second review. Project Partners will schedule and conduct second-round interviews with qualified applicants. GrizzlyCorps will make placement decisions based on Project Partner and applicant preferences. 

How long is the program? 

GrizzlyCorps fellows will serve 1700 hours over an 11 month term of service. The fellowship will begin on September 1, 2022 and end on July 28, 2023. 

How many Fellows are selected for the program?

For the 2022-23 service year, 35 Fellows will be selected for GrizzlyCorps. 

Where is the program located?

GrizzlyCorps Project Partners are only located within the state of California. Our projects are spread throughout several regions in California, including the Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, San Joaquin Valley, Shasta-Trinity, North Coast, Greater Los Angeles, and Sacramento Valley. 

Can I pick the project/region where I am placed?

Applicants have the ability to select regions of choice in the fellow application. During your interview, please let GrizzlyCorps staff know which projects you are most interested in after reading through all of our projects’ details. While you will have the opportunity to share what your interests are and the organization you would like to work with, ultimately, GrizzlyCorps makes the decision for where Fellows are placed based on Project Partner preference.We may match you for interviews with Project Partners that you did not mention you were interested in if we feel it may be a good fit. After the Project Partner selects their top applicant(s), GrizzlyCorps will send an offer to the selected applicant(s). Candidates will have 48 hours to accept or reject offers. GrizzlyCorps will only make one offer to each applicant. 

How many hours do I serve per week? 

GrizzlyCorps fellows are obligated to serve 1700 hours during their service term and on average will serve about 40 hours/week, accounting for a normal allotment of holidays and vacation. These hours will sometimes occur during the evening, weekend, and other “non-business” hours. 

Is housing provided during GrizzlyCorps service? 

Usually, GrizzlyCorps Fellows must find their own housing near their site location. Sites are expected to provide whatever support they can, which usually means providing information about where to look for affordable housing, key contacts, and outreach to friends and the organization’s network to help out with housing. Some project partners may be able to provide housing onsite for members at a low or no cost. 

How much is the living allowance and is it taxable?

The Annual Living Stipend is $22,000 and will be paid monthly over the 11 month term of service. The living allowance is taxable. 

Do I get health insurance?

Yes, GrizzlyCorps Fellows will receive health insurance at no cost for the duration of their term of service. Our insurance plan is through the Corps Network. Learn more about our plan here

Can I take time off during the service year?

Yes, Fellows may take up to 40 hours of personal time off (vacation/sick time) throughout the service year. Fellows must request approval for time off from both their Site Supervisor and Program Coordinator. Fellows also receive 13 paid holidays per year. See the holiday schedule here

 

Can student loans be deferred? 

Yes, student loans can be deferred for the duration of our program. In addition, AmeriCorps will pay for accrued student loan interest (on approved federal loans) during your year of service. You can find more information about loan forbearance and other AmeriCorps benefits here

What is the education grant and can it be used to pay student loans?

GrizzlyCorps Fellows who complete their entire term of service will be eligible for two education awards, the Eli Segal Education Award and the California for All Education Award. Both of these awards can be used to help Fellows pay for educational expenses, such as loans, going to grad school, getting certificates, or for school supplies post-AmeriCorps. The award is not given to Fellows as cash or a check; Fellows must request that AmeriCorps make a payment to an eligible loan provider or school, and AmeriCorps will make payments directly to them on your behalf.

 

The Segal Education Award must be used within 7 years of completing the program. The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) has not yet released the Eli Segal Education Award amount for the upcoming year. Last year’s award was $6,195. Each year the award amount increases. The California For All Education Award adds to the total value of the Segal Education Award for a combined value of $10,000. Last year the California For All Education Award was $3,805.

 

What sort of work will I be doing?

All GrizzlyCorps projects will increase the capacity of local communities to promote resilience and response to climate needs. 

Overall, all GrizzlyCorps members follow the same 4-stage intervention process to implement their service:             

  • Gap assessment where members identify capacity building goals

  • Research, planning, and implementation projects to address these goals

  • Volunteer recruitment activities to engage the community in efforts

  • Transitioning of knowledge to community members

Please see our Partner Project descriptions for more information about specific project duties. Find our 2022-2023 Project Partner descriptions listed on our Regions and Communities page.

What is the volunteerism requirement?

Fellows will assist in outreach, recruitment, and engagement of volunteers for their Project Partner site. As the face of GrizzlyCorps and their site, Fellows must be able to communicate the mission, vision, and volunteer opportunities of their Project Partner. Fellows are not required to complete a volunteer project. 

Will I receive any training?

GrizzlyCorps Fellows receive at least 90 hours of core training, which includes a full week of orientation, subject-matter training relevant for projects (i.e regenerative agriculture, fire ecology, resilient food-systems, forestry, environmental policy) and monthly GrizzlyCorps AmeriCorps webinar trainings. Some trainings will cover technical topics and themes, while others will focus on soft skills needed for professional development.

Do I need a car?

Owning a personal vehicle is not required for all placements, but will be necessary to navigate between the service site and place of residence at many of our placements. Our project partners are all located in rural regions and towns that have minimal to no public transportation. 

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at grizzlycorps@berkeley.edu.