Throughout the eleven month program, Blue Engine Teaching Assistants receive an AmeriCorps living stipend of $14,400 ($654.50 payable on a semi-monthly schedule less applicable taxes) and unlimited MetroCards. Many BETAs also successfully apply for SNAP benefits (up to $200 each month).
To make the year even more affordable, BETAs often decide to live together. Prior to the start of the service year, Blue Engine gives BETAs the resources to connect with each other and pursue housing options in groups. BETAs will be notified of school placements prior to start of service to allow enough time for informed housing decisions.
BETAs are also enrolled in basic health insurance through Summit America, the primary health insurance provider for AmeriCorps members nationwide. We encourage prospective BETAs with specific health concerns to contact Summit America directly to learn more about the plan’s coverage details and limitations.
Blue Engine sponsors a variety of team building activities through fun free events in New York City. In addition, since BETAs work in teams and are all on a budget, free and low cost social events (like potlucks!) are a common occurrence. For honest answers from BETAs on living life on a budget in New York see BETA Unplugged.
Blue Engine is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. As America’s largest grantmaker, AmeriCorps harnesses our country’s most powerful resource – the energy and talents of our citizens – to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Blue Engine Teaching Assistants accept the imperative of national service as AmeriCorps volunteers.
As AmeriCorps volunteers, BETAs qualify for The Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which is pegged to the maximum Pell Grant award (a little over $5,350), is valid upon successful completion of your term, and good for up to seven years after the end of your term. The Education Award can be used to repay student loans and/or to pay future tuition costs at qualifying institutions. Additionally, an increasing number of undergraduate and graduate institutions offer matching grants that double the value of your Education Award. For more information, check out the AmeriCorps Education Award site.
AmeriCorps also allows for loan forbearance during service terms for qualifying student loans. (Ask your lender or loan holder for details.) Upon the successful completion of your term, the National Service Trust will also repay any interest that’s accrued on your student loans during your term.