Julia Vollmers, AFS-USA Returnee (U.S. to France 1996-97), is a member of the Young Ambassadors Leadership Circle and newly appointed member of the AFS-USA Board of Directors. Julia is a project manager and data analyst for the U.S. government. Outside of her professional career, she is a member of the Junior League of Washington, an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Julia travels extensively, speaks three languages, and enjoys cooking and biking.
My AFS journey began in the summer of 1996, when I went on an AFS year program in France. It was a powerful, character-building, and at times humbling experience.
I developed life skills that I like to describe as my “global citizen survival kit.” AFS provided me with the resources I needed to face challenges and make bold, yet responsible, decisions in new situations.
As I reflect back over that experience, its value and richness only continue to grow and amaze me. I became a more open-minded, empathetic person who learned to be more comfortable with cultural differences—a savvier and more mature teenager, curious to explore the “unfamiliar.”
My AFS involvement did not end once I returned. As a fresh returnee, eager to give back to other AFSers, I served as a student liaison and trusted point of contact for AFS-USA students for over six years.
My AFS experience has enriched my life in countless ways, so I do everything I can to make sure that as many participants as possible can benefit from the high-quality programs AFS offers. AFS-USA has not only expanded my family, but it has also become a significant part of my life.
That is why I joined the Young Ambassadors last year and in the summer of 2019 decided to serve as a member of the AFS-USA Board of Directors. I want to make sure that AFS programs and our mission continue to transform lives like they have mine.