Congratulations to the
2023 AFS Volunteer Awardees!

The Galatti Award

Established in 1983, the Galatti Award, bestowed in memory of Stephen Galatti, the Director General of AFS for more than 28 years, honors AFS volunteers whose longtime commitment, dedication, and exceptional journey have advanced the AFS mission and created widespread impact.

Deb Maly is a longtime educator living in Germantown, Wisconsin. She’s held roles with the Milwaukee Area Team as the team chair, liaison, support, and volunteer engagement coordinator. Deb played a pivotal role in steering AFS-USA through the challenges posed by the pandemic, contributing to the rebirth of volunteer teams. Her commitment to effective communication is evident in her professional and volunteer roles advocating for young ambassadors and practicing as a Speech/Language Pathologist. In addition, Deb started her area’s first educational teacher exchanges with Austria. Since 2004, Deb and her family have hosted more than 20 exchange students from around the world!

“There are many reasons why Deb is so deserving of this international award,” remarked AFS-USA President and CEO, Tara Hofmann. “It is indeed impressive that she has held nearly every local and national position one can as a volunteer—from chair of her Milwaukee chapter to the chair of the National Council of Volunteers for six out of her eight years, to serving for six years as a Director on the AFS-USA Board.

The Peggy and Art Howe Award

Established in 2016, Peggy and Art Howe Award honors the outstanding service of AFS volunteer families. This award is inspired by the Howe family, who volunteered for AFS for more than six decades. Art Howe was a volunteer AFS Ambulance Driver in World War II, President of AFS (1965-1971), and Life Trustee until his passing in 2014.

Bonnie and Jim Stark have been volunteering with AFS-USA in San Diego, California since 2012. Their volunteer journey began when they hosted a student from Germany in 2011, going on to host many more students throughout the years. Both Bonnie and Jim have held leadership roles on their team; Bonnie currently serves as the team’s leader, and they work to empower and mentor new volunteers to take on roles in the team.

“Bonnie and Jim’s commitment to AFS, our mission, the international students hosted in the San Diego area, the local host families, and their fellow volunteers is boundless,” said AFS-USA President and CEO Tara Hofmann. “The Stark’s were vital to seeing their volunteer team through the challenges of COVID, providing hope and engagement opportunities. They dedicate their valuable time, energy, skills, and resources to the AFS San Diego Team. Bonnie and Jim are true leaders, working collaboratively to actively include and celebrate diverse voices, perspectives, and values.”

Learn more about volunteering with AFS