Faces of America

AFS-USA's Faces of America (FoA) initiative aims to ensure that global education and study abroad opportunities are made available to all communities and are reflective of the diversity of our country.


One way FoA achieves its objectives is through successfully partnering with community-based organizations, foundations, corporations, and schools that serve underrepresented communities. Since 2007, FoA has awarded scholarships to more than 2,200 outstanding teenagers and introduced them to a world of possibilities.

Our community partners value the impact that the AFS experience has on their students and how it supports the goals of their leadership and college preparatory programs. Studies show that students who experience a study abroad program are more likely to possess the global leadership skills necessary in today’s workforce. When students return from an AFS exchange, moreover, they are excited by what they've discovered—about the world and themselves—and inspired to keep exploring new and diverse opportunities. Nearly all FoA participants go on to college, and many participate in undergraduate exchange programs. 

Faces of America statistics

How to partner with FoA

FoA partners with approximately 30 Community Based Organizations and high schools each year, all from urban cities. Our partners typically provide educational programming and social services to students and families beginning in 9th grade and continuing through high school graduation.

The Faces of America program is committed to benefitting underrepresented groups and communities across the U.S. To be eligible for an FoA scholarship, students must meet need-based financial requirements, such as free or reduced lunch.

To learn more about FoA and how to become a partner, please contact Shameeka Leacock at: sleacock@afsusa.org

FoA Beginnings

In 1995, AFS-USA, with funding from the DeWitt Wallace Fund, launched a diversity scholarship initiative targeting youth in urban areas. The goal was to reduce the cost barriers to participating in a life-changing high school study abroad program. In 2007, the scholarship initiative was renamed Faces of America (FOA). Today, FoA works with a consortium of community-based organizations (CBOs) to identify promising young scholars for educational opportunities abroad. Since the launch of our diversity scholarship programs students have participated in AFS programs to more than 25 countries.

Get Involved with FoA

Your financial support gives low-income high school students the opportunities they need to transform their lives, achieve their own potential, and create change as role models and leaders in their communities.