We’re happy to announce the winners of the 2017 AFS Project: Change contest! Five young change-makers will be traveling to Kenya this summer to carry out a volunteer project focusing on empowering children to succeed through art, music, and athletic activities.

The AFS Project: Change contest, now in its fourth year, asks U.S. high schoolers to create their own volunteer project idea that could make an impact abroad. This year, hundreds of students shared their unique visions for global change. The finalists were selected by the public, who cast more than 17,000 votes. From these finalists, the winners were chosen by a panel of judges who assessed the entries’ quality, creativity, and feasibility.

Volunteer with children in Kenya.

This year’s Grand Prize Winner is Clare G. from Orono, Minnesota. Clare’s innovative project idea focuses on “the use of arts, music, and athletics in order to stimulate the minds of children in Kenya.” This summer she will lead a two-week volunteer program based on her original submission.

Clare and four additional winners will receive full scholarships to go abroad and bring her vision to life. These five change-makers will conduct workshops in Kenyan schools to inspire children to develop self-confidence and express their creativity. Clare and her peers will focus on using art, music, and sports to engage students and empower them to succeed. (Keep reading for complete details of this amazing program, which is now open for enrollment!)

Go on safari in Kenya.

The following four additional winners will be awarded full scholarships to participate in the program in Kenya:

Nathan W. from Vermont

Nathan’s project focuses on educating children about the importance of protecting rivers and streams, and the problems these ecosystems currently face.

Liv B. from Pennsylvania

Liv’s project has the goal of providing music lessons to primary school children, as well as offering resources for educators to use music in their classes.

Angel C. from Illinois

Angel’s project focuses on deforestation, and how to educate young people about protecting the environment through actions such as recycling.

Maya S. from Texas

Maya’s project idea is to work with local NGOs to compile population data on endangered species, as well as plant trees to combat deforestation.

Congratulations to all the motivated students who entered the 2017 Project: Change contest! Their ideas were innovative and thoughtful, and will likely inspire others to create change in their own communities and abroad.

Find out more about the Project: Change program.

We encourage you to learn more about the previous winning projects and the impact they made around the world. Or, subscribe to stay up-to-date with the latest Project: Change developments and be the first to find out when next year’s contest opens!

***Join AFS-USA in creating peace through understanding. Explore opportunities to host an exchange studentstudy abroad, and volunteer in your community.