Thirteen young educators have earned full scholarships (sponsored by BP) to attend the annual AFS Youth Assembly in New York City from August 11-13, 2023. They will join 40 international educators for a full-day workshop on intercultural learning and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and then join 600+ other global participants who will have an opening ceremony at the United Nations, attend interactive learning sessions, and mingle with organizations at an opportunities fair. They will be prepared to return home and change the world through action in their local communities!
These educators were nominated by teachers, administrators, and volunteers in our AFS community, so we know they are capable of great things. Please see the list of educators and the areas where they live. Don’t see your area team on the list? Start thinking now about an educator you want to nominate next spring so you have a young changemaker who works in a school near you next year!
Bellaire High School (TX)
Hannah Arrington is an English teacher in Houston, Texas. A Mississippi native, she is passionate about restorative justice and advocating for equitable, de-colonized public education. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked with the Ni Una Menos campaigns in Argentina and Chile and works to send students abroad on foreign language and community service scholarship programs. Ever globally minded, she also leads international exchanges over holidays and will sponsor her school’s Model United Nations team. Outside of the classroom, Hannah volunteers with Houston’s veteran and unhoused community with the goal of making her city more walkable, sustainable, and equitable for its diverse and growing population. Her most recent project has been to prepare city-wide resources and opportunities to aid and welcome newcomers to Houston anticipating the expiration of Title 42.
Snoqualmie Valley School District (WA)
Collin Crose graduated High School in 2016 with both an associate degree and a High School diploma. He went on to get a bachelor’s degree at nineteen. With three degrees in hand and a dream to pursue, he worked for the United States Postal Service as a mailman to earn the funds necessary to embark upon an epic sojourn. First to Israel. Then, following a route through the middle sea northward to Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and Monaco, he finally finished in London. From there, he was beckoned by the sandy beaches of Oahu Hawaii for a year where a decision was made to pursue a career in education. Inspired by the experience of living in Hawaii, he wrote his master’s thesis on Native Hawaiian Education. In 2021, graduating from Antioch University with a Masters of Arts in teaching, he immediately began working at the middle school he attended and where he still works now.
Young Audiences Charter School (LA)
Bailey Custodio, better known as “Ms. C,” is from New Orleans, Louisiana where she teaches high school Algebra 1 on the Westbank. She got her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Kinesiology (pre-med) and has a background in retail management/visual merchandising. She would describe her path to education as non-traditional; her teaching is ultimately passion-work. Her dedication began as a pursuit to change the lives of intercity youth through education and empowerment. Bailey spends most of her afternoons mentoring and building students’ confidence in math through tutoring and academic study hall. She is committed to continuously motivating students and developing their self-actualization so they, too, can know their power is limitless. This school year, Bailey will serve on the leadership team as 9th grade level chair.
Ross Elementary School (DC)
Megan Greene currently teaches upper elementary STEM at Ross Elementary School in Washington, DC. Megan holds a Master of Education (PK-5th) and a Bachelor of Science in Education as well as an English for Speakers of Other Languages Endorsement from The University of Georgia. Megan has a passion for global studies, integrating the SDGs, play-based learning, and interdisciplinary projects. She has participated in various fellowships and conferences to enhance her teaching practices such as the DCPS Global Educator Pathway Fellowship and the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers. Megan looks forward to growing her network and deepening her understanding of global education best practices at the AFS Youth Assembly.
Wabash High School (IN)
Luke Helton graduated from Manchester University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. After working as a salesman for over a year, Luke decided to obtain his Transition to Teaching education from the University of St. Francis. Luke is currently employed as a Special Education teacher at Wabash High School in Wabash, Indiana, and is currently working toward his Master’s degree in Psychology through Indiana Tech.
Prince William County Schools (VA)
Michael Huynh, also known as “Mr. Huynh,” is a passionate multidisciplinary educator who thrives within Prince William County Schools, a trauma-sensitive school system catering to at-risk teenage youths. His love for his job and diverse students fuels his commitment to empower and uplift People of Color. Mr. Huynh listens attentively, valuing his students’ stories and strengths, and guides them through college applications, apprenticeships, and pursuit of their dream jobs. Through his unwavering dedication, he has positively impacted the lives of hundreds. However, he recognizes that many capable individuals, hindered by trauma and limited self-perceptions, fail to recognize their own potential. With his support, Mr. Huynh strives to help these individuals break through barriers and discover the immense possibilities that lie within them.
Arthur Dixon Elementary School (IL)
Daniel Jackson M.Ed. is a teacher at Dixon Elementary School in Chicago. At Dixon, he serves on the Instructional Leadership Team. Today Daniel is giving back by mentoring and teaching other young people in Chicago. As an educator and mentor, he teaches to transform the lives of young minds through critical thinking. As a young educator, Daniel takes great pride in creating equity among all learners in his classroom and learning from his students. Daniel’s teaching practices reflect dynamic, current, and societal issues. Daniel also serves on the Board of Directors for Illinois State University Alumni Association. In October 2023 Daniel will be awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni of the Illinois State University College of Education award.
Winton Woods High School (OH)
Connor Loechner is a new STEM educator in the Greater Cincinnati Area, and a sophomore instructor in Winton Woods High School’s one-of-a-kind Academy of Global Studies. After studying Physics, Mathematics, and Secondary Education at the University of Cincinnati, he has passionately developed projects and curricula within the Academy’s global framework. By using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, his students contextualize their STEM knowledge while learning about and tackling specific global issues. Additionally, Connor spearheads the Winton Woods Game Club, providing students with the opportunity to relax and have fun to supplement their education. He loves providing students with opportunities to learn and grow both academically and personally.
Ramblewood Middle School (FL)
Kara Meyer was born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida. She is currently an eighth-grade Physical Science teacher at Ramblewood Middle school – her Alma Mater. Kara graduated college from Broward College with a degree in Exceptional Education along with Reading and ESOL endorsements. Throughout her college career, Kara was on the Dean’s List. Kara currently resides in Coconut Creek, Florida with her three-year-old son. During her first year of teaching, Kara frequently supported her school by attending sporting events, chaperoning field trips, teaching an FSA Science after school tutoring camp, and an ESOL after school tutoring camp. Kara is in the process of obtaining certification for the Gifted program. Kara strives to make an impact on students’ lives daily by creating a safe environment where they can learn and grow to their greatest potential.
Harrison High School (IN)
Kassie is an English teacher and JV Volleyball coach who just completed her fourth year of teaching at Harrison High School in Evansville, Indiana. She attended the University of Southern Indiana where she majored in English and minored in Education and Political Science, and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in English. Kassie believes in using education to improve the world. As an English teacher, Kassie focuses on teaching students how to communicate the state of our world and what can be done to improve it by constructing meaningful rhetoric about the importance of global issues such as climate change. As an educator in general, this includes promoting the value of public schools, which provide a variety of resources to communities, including food distribution.
Oconomowoc High School (WI)
Angela Scavone is a Social Studies teacher at Oconomowoc High School in Wisconsin where she teaches AP Psychology and Introduction to the Humanities and co-advises the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society. Angela graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with majors in History and Secondary Education along with a minor in Broad Field Social Science. Angela loves being a cheerleader for her students and supporting them as they grow through their four years in high school. As a Psychology teacher, she is passionate about normalizing conversations surrounding mental health and just got back from her first trip working as an AP Psychology exam reader.
Muhlenberg School District (PA)
After studying abroad in Germany with AFS Mason became dedicated to sharing the importance of cultural education and advocating for English language learners. He graduated from Kutztown after helping kickstart an Exchange program with Hildesheim University. He then began teaching at Muhlenberg School district as the sole German teacher. He recently received his Master’s in education, and is pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Policy from West Chester University with a focus on the success of academic language acquisition. He also serves as an advanced EMT in Lebanon and Berks county. In the summer of 2021, Mason accepted a position with the Department of Defense as a translator for a Indiana University of Pennsylvania Archaeology studies trip in Germany.
Muscatine High School (IA)
Nick Stuart is a high school social studies teacher in Muscatine, Iowa. While in Muscatine Nick has worked tirelessly to expand the curriculum and the global perspectives of his students and increase their opportunities to make positive change in their community and region. Besides Nick’s work in the classroom, he also serves as a student council advisor and a coach for speech and debate. He is currently working towards a graduate degree in Teaching History from Northwestern College. Nick is always seeking to learn and experience new things the world has to offer and inspires his students to do the same in the course of their lives.