Francesca volunteers in sending, hosting, support, training and assisting volunteers across the country with technical issues via the Help Desk. Just to name a few activities! She and her husband have sent a son abroad to Germany and have hosted eight AFS students.
Francesca Lippi was recently awarded a flight chaperone trip by the AFS-USA Volunteer Recognition Committee. Francesca chaperoned U.S. students going to Thailand for the 2012-13 school year.
"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing me as a Flight Chaperon for the YES students going to Thailand for the 2012-2013 school year. I was able to meet some more amazing AFS/YES students and spend some time with our colleagues from AFS-Thailand. On a personal level, I rode an elephant, charmed a snake, and tamed a tiger! I observed some things about Thai culture that helped me better understand our Thai students and was able to be a part of things that I never would have been part of as a typical tourist. I got to spend time with ALL of my Thai daughters and their families, four of whom I have previously hosted."
Thank you Francesca for all the talents you contribute to AFS!
Rick, an AFS Volunteer extraordinaire, is also an employee at Alaska Airlines. In November 2011, he was highlighted in the Alaska Airlines Magazine as one of the "People Behind the Spirit." Here's what they had to say about him:
Each summer, American Field Service sends more than 450 exchange students through Seattle -- American students leaving for far-off lands and foreign students arriving to attend schools across the Pacific Northwest. They all pass through Seattle in a period of about three days, and Rick Bendix is one of the volunteer coordinators who has spent the previous year making sure all the details are taken care of for the students, as well s for their host families.
Rick is perfect of the job. As a Company Programs & Events Specialist for Alaska Airlines, he organizes everything from large-scale employee meetings to marketing events that introduce new service to destinations such as Hawai'i.
Rick also has been an AFS student, spending a summer in Paraguay while in high school. AS a student at Seattle University, he studied abroad for a year, in Granada, Spain. Now he helps coordinate and train 120 AFS volunteers in the Seattle area.
"I always enjoy leaning about local culture when I travel, and I like working with AFS because studying overseas is such a great opportunity for these kids, and for their host families."
Jesse currently volunteers as a Returnee Initiative Leader & Sending Advisory Group Member. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration and plans to attend medical school afterward. His dream job is to work for the Department of State as a Regional Medical Officer.
What does the AFS Mission mean to you?
Each year that passes helps me to realize the effect that AFS has had on my life. I have gained lifelong friends from around the world and witnessed the cultural differences that make our world diverse. Now that I volunteer at orientations, I have the joy of seeing students experience a new language, country and culture. It affirms the impact that AFS has on students around the world.
Emily Betz has volunteered as part of the Returnee Initiative. She has also volunteered as a Support Coordinator and as a Liaison.
What does the AFS Mission mean to you?
I hope to help create a world in which everyone appreciates diversity for the fascinating and enriching thing that it is. I think that personal bonds between friends and families are the best way to make this happen. The lessons I learned during my time as an AFSer affect my decisions and my outlook every single day—not just when dealing with people of other cultures, but with everyone I meet whose mindset and habits are different from mine. I know that small actions can make a huge amount of difference, so I am glad to work with AFS and help students and families feel like true global citizens, one person at a time.