Empowering Californians to take meaningful action to serve and help protect our most vulnerable communities against the harshest impacts of climate change

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply for the program?

We embrace a diverse spectrum of Fellows, spanning various life stages and backgrounds. From recent graduates embarking on their professional journey to retirees seeking new adventures, and individuals navigating mid-career transitions, our community celebrates inclusivity. That being said, there are some minimum requirements for CCAC program participation:

*Please note that currently, we are unable to accept applicants with student visas (e.g., F1 or F2 student visas, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visas, G series visas, etc.) or individuals with deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status. If offered a position within the program, all Fellows will be required to provide documentation as proof of their status.

Is California Climate Action Corps (CCAC) an AmeriCorps program?

California Climate Action Corps (CCAC) is an AmeriCorps program that's part of a national network of service organizations supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency. AmeriCorps programs engage individuals in community service activities to address critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

The mission of AmeriCorps is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. AmeriCorps focuses on six key focus areas to make an impact: Education, Economic Opportunity, Disaster Services, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures, and Veterans & Military Families. There are over 200,000 AmeriCorps members every year partnering with over 2,000 organizations nation-wide.

CCAC expands and enhances services at organizations across California to increase their impact by strengthening community resilience in the face of climate change and engaging community members in climate action. For the 2024-25 CCAC Program year, we have 345 Fellows working with 89 organizations to mitigate climate change and implement the societal transformations necessary for a sustainable, climate-resilient future.

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

Applicants have the ability to select multiple preferred positions and regions within the CCAC application. While you will have the opportunity to share what your interests are and the Host Sites you would like to work with, ultimately, the Host Sites will decide which applicants to offer a Fellowship position based on resumes, essays, and interviews. CCAC is an equal opportunity Fellowship with a preference for candidates already living in the communities they will serve.

After interviewing candidates, each Host Partner will contact CCAC program staff at Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) with a ranked selection of candidates. BACR will then email conditional offer letters to candidates to join the program for specific Fellowship roles. Candidates should expect to accept or decline the offer letter within 3 days. Offers that are declined or unresponsive after 3 days will be extended to consecutive candidates from the Host Partner's candidate list.

How many hours do I serve per week? 

California Climate Action Corps Fellows are expected to commit to a 40-hour work week, Monday through Friday, approximately 8am to 5pm, with occasional evening and weekend hours depending on project needs. Of the total 1700-hour commitment, 170-340 hours are allocated for professional development.

Program Benefits

What are the benefits in the full-term program?

How much is the living allowance and is it taxable? 

The Living Stipend depends on your term of service. Yes, the living allowance is taxable.

Do Fellows receive health care benefits?

All Fellows are eligible to receive free minimum essential healthcare coverage throughout their service term. Coverage is provided through Ternian at no cost to Fellows and includes basic medical, dental, vision, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You will need to opt-in to enroll (instructions below). Enrolling in this healthcare coverage does not cost you anything and will not be removed from your stipend. 

If you are already enrolled in a healthcare plan (i.e., through a parent or spouse), you may be able to use this coverage as a supplement to draw the maximum benefit from both plans! You should check with your current plan to make sure enrolling would not impact your existing coverage.

Benefits renew on January 1st each year for the rest of the calendar year, so if your term begins in the fall, you can access these twice!

What qualifies a Fellow for childcare through AmeriCorps?

To qualify for the childcare benefit, you must meet the following eligibility requirements: 

AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits are managed by GAP Solutions. Visit AmeriCorpsChildcare.com for full information.

Source: National Service Childcare Eligibility Overview

What is the California for All Education Award?

The California for All Education Award is an additional award intended to supplement the Segal Education Award. It has been granted by the State of California to recognize and value your term of service. It is administered by California Volunteers, which is part of the Office of the Governor. They manage most state AmeriCorps programs and other volunteer initiatives in the state of California.

Please note: 

This award is only available to AmeriCorps Fellows who successfully complete a full 1700-hour term. 

The award is $3,655 (pre-tax)!  Taxes will be automatically withheld, like a paycheck, before it is sent to you. The amount you actually receive should range somewhere around $2,600 - $3,100, depending on your individual financial situation. 

What is the Segal Education Award?

The Segal Education Award is given to Fellows upon the successful completion of their service year. For the 2023-24 service year, the amount for Fellows who serve at least 1700 hours will be $6,495, those who serve 1200 will receive $4,546.50, and those who serve for 300 hours will receive $1,459.26. It is meant to help the Fellow pay for educational expenses, such as loans, grad school, certificates, or school supplies post-AmeriCorps. The award is not given to the Fellow as cash or a check; the Fellow must request that AmeriCorps make a payment to an eligible loan provider or school. AmeriCorps will make payments directly to them on your behalf. The Segal Education Award must be used within 7 years of completing the program. 

What student loans qualify for loan forbearance? 

AmeriCorps Members are eligible to put qualified student loans into forbearance throughout your term of service so you do not have to make regular payments on them, and to have interest accrued during your service term repaid by AmeriCorps! 

Qualified student loans include loans backed by the federal government under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (except PLUS Loans to parents of students), loans under Titles VII or VIII of the Public Service Health Act, and/or loans made by a state agency. These cannot apply to private loans or other types of loans, even if those loans were for educational purposes. Learn more here about what kinds of loans are qualified for this benefit (scroll down to the "Repay Qualified Student Loans" section)

Do Fellows get time off during the Fellowship?

If a full-term Fellow completes an average of 40-hours each week during their 11-month service term, they would be able to take 80 hours off in addition to the 13 paid holidays. Time off must be requested in advance with both their Site and Regional Supervisor, and approved before time can be taken. 

Are there housing or relocation costs assistance available to Fellows?

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 with housing. 

Fellows in the California Climate Action Corps Program are not eligible for relocation or housing assistance through the program. However, program staff, site staff, and other Fellows may be able to provide support or guidence in finding local housing. 

Can Fellows serve remotely in their positions? 

Per AmeriCorps guidelines, all Fellows are expected to serve in-person, unless written authorization for teleservice is requested and approved in advance.

Life as a Fellow

What is the typical daily schedule of a Fellow?

A fellow's daily schedule varies from host site to host site. Fellows typically serve Monday-Friday during regular working hours. However, there may be instances where fellows may work on weekends or evenings. The general work that fellows will complete includes leading or participating in volunteer events, engaging with the community, and climate action related to program focus areas (urban greening, food recovery, wildfire resiliency).

What kind of professional development is available for Fellows?

Fellows must complete at least 170 hours of professional development/training. CCAC provides mandatory monthly trainings and suggested professional development opportunities. During the monthly training, fellows receive program updates, engage with guest speakers across environmental organizations and sectors, listen to fellows present about various climate topics, and deepen their knowledge and understanding on climate resiliency and how to take action.

Who supports a Fellow throughout the program?

Fellows have a Site Supervisor, Regional Supervisor, and CCAC program staff to provide support. The Site Supervisor offers daily support for Fellows on day-to-day tasks and climate action projects. In contrast, Regional Supervisors offer general support to Fellows regarding CCAC program tasks and deadlines, as well as mentorship and guidance. Additionally, returning Fellows selected as Team Leaders serve as peer leaders for the Fellows.

What opportunities exist for Fellows to convene with the rest of the cohort?

Fellows will be able to interact with the rest of the cohort during monthly trainings, social activities hosted by Team Leaders, and online platforms. There is also an in-person orientation and mid-year retreat where fellows convene in person and participate in team building activities. The cohort is also given opportunities to connect with fellows on a regional level and by program focus area (urban greening, food recovery, wildfire resiliency).

Will there be multiple Fellows at the same site?

Yes, sites will host multiple fellows working on the same or differing projects.