About the ACCESS Project

The AmeriCorps Cross-Cultural Education Service Systems (ACCESS) Project is an AmeriCorps program under the Center for New North Carolinians at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Incepted in 1994, we are our state’s oldest and longest-running AmeriCorps program. We help immigrant and refugee families gain access to resources and support needed to integrate and become economically self-sufficient and contributing members of society. We do this by placing AmeriCorps members with our partner agencies (host sites) to provide families with job services, case management, English language instructions, tutoring, education support services to students in grades K-12, and so much more. We have partner agencies in Alamance County, Guilford County, Mecklenburg County, Orange County, and Wake County.


Khouan Rodriguez, Program Director, at 336.256.1060 or [email protected].

The ACCESS Project is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service in the Office of Governor Roy Cooper.

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Applications are accepted until all positions have been filled. We encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible to ensure consideration for a desired position.

AmeriCorps members are carefully matched with positions and host sites based on their preferences, where they offer direct assistance to immigrants and refugees in North Carolina, aiding families in their integration into local life. Their services encompass a broad spectrum, including case management, integration support, and employment assistance. This assistance extends to English language instruction, interpretation, transportation, and educational support services, such as tutoring and school-related activities. These services are merely a glimpse into the extensive support provided by AmeriCorps members in the ACCESS Project as they guide immigrant and refugee families towards self-sufficiency and integration. Additionally, members engage in community outreach, volunteer management, and networking, collaborating with nonprofit organizations to enhance services for these marginalized communities. 

  1. AmeriCorps members will receive professional development trainings from the program and host site. Training topics such as cross-cultural communication, conflict/resolution, interpretation, diversity, and more will help members engage with and better serve the immigrant and refugee community members. Ultimately, by the end of the service year, members will gain experience and transferrable skills they can proudly put on their resumes. 
  2. Members will receive a living allowance of up to $25,000 full-time and $12,500 part-time in a program year. The living allowance is subject to tax and will be slightly lower after a tax deduction. Members in a full-time position are eligible to apply for Food Stamps for additional support. Moreover, full-time members can apply for a childcare subsidy for their children ages 0-13 years, with eligibility determined by individual family income. 
  3. Upon completing the service term, members will also receive an education award of up to $7,395 full-time and $3,697.50 part-time – limited to a 7-year spending period and subject to tax at the time used. The education award can be used to: 
    • pay educational expenses. 
    • repay qualified student loans. 

To be eligible to serve in an AmeriCorps program, an individual must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Must undergo National Service Criminal History Checks
  • Have a social security card (cannot say “For Work Authorization Only”)
  • Have proof of education completed (i.e., high school diploma, GED, college degree, etc.)
  • It is not a requirement to be a UNCG student. Any eligible individual is encouraged to apply.

Individual positions may require additional qualifications depending on identified service activities.

The ACCESS Project does not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Certain AmeriCorps positions require a member to provide transportation or require the use of a personal vehicle.

ACCESS members receive mileage reimbursement for all AmeriCorps program training workshops they attend.
Individual positions may require a member to use their personal vehicle as part of their AmeriCorps service and may or may not receive mileage reimbursement from their host site specified in the Member Service Description.

ACCESS members commit to completing one year of community service. Our service year starts mid-September and ends on August 31st of the following year.

Individuals can serve up to 4 terms with AmeriCorps. Members can only earn up to the equivalent of 2 full-time education awards. Serving subsequent terms with the ACCESS Project will depend on member performance and successful completion of the previous term(s). Members who have previously served with ACCESS and would like to return to the program must reapply and undergo the interview process for reconsideration.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a completed member application. ACCESS staff reviews applications. If the applicant meets the position requirements for those positions they are interested in, then the ACCESS staff will refer the applicant to the host site for consideration. The site supervisor will review the applicant’s documents and determine whether or not to pursue an interview.

The ACCESS staff will schedule an interview if the applicant is interviewed and recommended for a position by the host site. Interviews are typically conducted in person at the Center for New North Carolinians office in Greensboro. Video and/or telephone interviews are available to out-of-state applicants. After the interview, if an applicant agrees to be placed with the host site that recommended them, ACCESS staff will begin conducting background checks on the applicant.

When all background checks are cleared, an applicant and host site will be notified followed by an acceptance letter from the ACCESS program director.

Members CANNOT begin serving at their host site and earning hours before the program start date. Members must complete the application process and Member Orientation before they can begin earning service hours with their host site.

Most schedules follow regular business hours. However, members can negotiate their service schedule with their site supervisor prior to the start of service. 

It is possible for a member to successfully complete the program early. We have many members who get accepted into graduate school or have other opportunities they want to take advantage of. To successfully complete the program, members must meet the minimum required hours for their position, complete all trainings, and submit all required documents. Members should discuss plans to leave the program early with ACCESS staff and their site supervisors as soon as possible.

Members who leave the program voluntarily or are released from service due to performance issues and have not completed the minimum number of required service hours will forfeit their education award and interest accrual payment benefits. Stipend payments, health and childcare benefits cease when members are exited from the program.

Members who leave the program due to circumstances beyond their control (and have provided evidence of such to the ACCESS program director) may be eligible to receive a portion of their education award and interest accrual payment.

Yes, full-time and part-time positions earn a living allowance. The payments are divided into 12 monthly installments, deposited to the member’s bank account, and subject to state and federal income tax. Additionally, upon successfully completing the program requirements, members receive an education award that can be used to repay qualified student loans and pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.  

  • Full-Time: Serve at least 1700 hours over the program year, earn up to $25,000 in a yearly living allowance and $7,395 in an education award. Eligible to apply for childcare and free health insurance. 
  • Part-Time: Serve at least 900 hours over the program year, earn up to $12,500 in a yearly living allowance and $3,697.50 in an education award. 

AmeriCorps members can obtain additional employment if it does not interfere with the member’s service schedule or duties at the host site. Full-time members may find it more difficult to maintain outside employment, as they typically serve 35-40 hours per week. 

Yes. The ACCESS Project provides members with several training sessions. There is a mandatory two-day orientation at the start of the service year. Additional required and supplemental training for skills and professional development will be provided by ACCESS throughout the service year. Individual member host sites will also offer service-specific training and other professional development opportunities. 

No. The ACCESS Project does NOT provide housing and does NOT have funds to pay for housing. The same goes for relocation expenses. Members are responsible for all housing-related costs.

What is an education award?

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit received by members who complete a term of national service in an approved AmeriCorps program. For more detailed information, please visit the National Service Knowledge Network at: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/segal-americorps-education-award

How much is the education award?

The education award amount depends on the type of position a member serves. See the link provided for specifics. https://www.americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award/find-out-more

When do members get their education award?

Members are eligible to receive their education award after completing the program requirements. They must also receive a satisfactorily end-of-year performance evaluation.

What can the education award be used for?

Members may use the education award to pay back qualified student loans or for qualified educational expenses. For more information, visit: https://www.americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award

Is the education award subject to taxes?

Yes. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is subject to taxes in the year that it is used. AmeriCorps will send you an IRS Form 1099 to be used in preparing your income tax return. For more information, please visit: https://www.americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award/find-out-more

How long do you have to use it?

Members have 7 years from the date of issuance to use the award. Extensions may be available under certain conditions. For more information, visit: https://www.americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award/find-out-more

What is a loan forbearance?

Individuals who are serving in a term of service in an approved AmeriCorps position may be eligible to temporarily postpone the repayment of their qualified student loans through an action called a forbearance.

How do I know if my student loan is eligible for forbearance?

The AmeriCorps agency cannot approve or disapprove forbearance requests; it can only verify that you are in an approved national service position. Only the loan holder can determine your loan’s eligibility and approve a request for forbearance. Some private lender loans or loans in default may not be eligible for a forbearance. You are responsible for verifying with your lender that your student loan is eligible for forbearance based on national service participation.

How can I request a forbearance?

You can request a forbearance directly through your loan company (“loan holder” or “lender”) or make the request through www.my.americorps.gov (after you have been enrolled in the program).

What is an interest accrual payment?

While your loan is in forbearance during your service term, interest continues to accrue. However, if you successfully complete your term of service, the National Service Trust will pay all or a portion of the interest accrued on your qualified student loans during your service period. For more information, visit: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/segal-americorps-education-award/using-your-segal-education-award/postponing

How can I request an interest accrual payment?

You can request an interest accrual payment by making your request through www.my.americorps.gov (after you have been enrolled in the program). 

Is the interest accrual payment subject to taxes?

Yes. The amount of interest paid by the National Service Trust is subject to taxes in the year the payment is made. A 1099 form will be issued for the amount used. For more information, visit: https://www.americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award/find-out-more

Only full-time members are eligible to apply for childcare assistance benefits. Childcare assistance is determined based on income eligibility.

Only full-time members are eligible for health insurance coverage that meets Affordable Care Act requirements. Health insurance is available for members who do not have health insurance. ACCESS pays the monthly premium, and members are responsible for co-pays and costs incurred from their visits to healthcare providers.

Meet the Current team

Center for New North Carolinians Greensboro

Fadwa Abdelgadir

Centro La Comunidad – Burlington

Jonathan Morales-Perez

Community Enrichment Center – Greensboro

Shavonna Payne

Community Enrichment Center – Greensboro

Razaz Ahmed

Glenwood Public Library – Greensboro

Angel Rivera Santiago

Lutheran Services Carolinas – Raleigh

Blake Ryan

Oakwood Forest Community Center – Greensboro

Benjamin Rahlan

Community Impact


Program Year, Americorps members:

Provided job services to 231 immigrants and refugees, of which 56 attained jobs
Provided education support services to 122 K-12 immigrant and refugee students


Program Year, Americorps members:

Conducted disaster preparedness workshops for 132 immigrants/refugees
Provided job services to 289 immigrants and refugees, of which 103 attained jobs
Provided education support services to 163 K-12 immigrant and refugee students


Program Year, Americorps members:

Conducted disaster preparedness workshops for 148 immigrants/refugees
Provided job services to 296 immigrants and refugees, of which 112 attained jobs
Provided education support services to 207 K-12 immigrant and refugee students

Lived Experiences

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