Teach For America's two-year commitment and broad social goals make it closely resemble two other programs: The Peace Corps and City Year. All three programs involve a corps member relocating for a period of time to perform social work and all three offer some sort of monetary compensation.
Teach For America corps members receive $4,725 at the end of each of their two years to offset student loans or other costs (Teach For America). In this way they are considered both members of TFA and of AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps was founded in 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service and Trust act into law. The program built upon the VISTA program, which had been in place since 1965, according to the AmeriCorps Web site.
The administration funds about 3,000 nonprofit organizations around the country that are involved in health care, housing, environmental action and education, among others. About 400,000 people have served since 1994 through AmeriCorps-funded programs, according to its Web site.
City Year's program is so effective that AmeriCorps used it as a model. City Year is a one-year service program that places 17- to 24-year-olds in any of 15 cities in the U.S. and one in South Africa for a year of service.
According to its Web site, "These young leaders put their idealism to work as tutors and mentors to school children, reclaiming public spaces, and organizing after-school programs." Founded in 1988, the corps has 7,700 alumni, according to its annual report.
Unlike Teach For America, City Year does not require its corps members to be college graduates, although it limits its members' ages to 17 - 24. At the conclusion of their year of service, City Year's corps members receive an AmeriCorps grant of $4,725, which can be used to pay for their education. Unlike Teach For America, City Year is a volunteer program.
Its corps members are not paid during their year of service, although they receive room and board, as well as a weekly stipend.
Undoubtedly the most recognized corps-based organization, the Peace Corps has placed more than 182,000 volunteers in 138 countries since 1960. Its volunteers agree to serve for 27 months abroad, working on anything from community development to health care.
Although they serve as volunteers, Peace Corps members receive $6,000 upon their return to the U.S. to help them in their transition.
The organization has committed "more than 1,000 new volunteers as part of President Bush's HIV/AIDS Act of 2003," according to its Web site.