AFS-USA mourns the passing of Sarah Yancey, one of our most beloved and highly dedicated volunteer leaders. Sarah most recently served as an AFS-USA Board Member and has been a longtime volunteer. Sarah was a magnificent human being who embodied both the spirit and the mission of AFS for nearly fifty years and was a staunch advocate for international education and intercultural learning.
Sarah’s passion for intercultural learning began in 1964 when she participated in an American University two-month program in the USSR and Eastern bloc countries. Sarah’s introduction to AFS began in the 1970’s when Sarah’s family hosted an AFS Student which inspired Sarah to later host international students, as well as to encourage her children and her granddaughter to study abroad. Throughout her prestigious career in international service and education, Sarah held more than 40 local leadership positions for the Missouri Gateway team of AFS-USA. Sarah also served in many ways on the national leadership level such as on the Sponsored Programs Advisory Group, Outreach to Educators workgroup, Strategic Planning team, and as an AFS-USA Board Member, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Board of Directors. Sarah also represented AFS-USA on trips abroad to Russia, India, and Japan.
A retired educator, Sarah taught middle and high school English in Alexandria, VA, and was a teacher, speech and debate coach, and assistant principal at Parkway South High School in Manchester, MO. In 2001, she was named Pillar of Parkway for her leadership with intercultural exchange.
Sarah is the recipient of prestigious awards including the US Department of State’s Millennium International Volunteer Award. In 2013, Sarah received the highest honor AFS-USA bestows—the AFS-USA Galatti Legacy Award US Nominee, selected from and by her volunteer colleagues throughout the nation.
At the AFS-USA Hosting Conference in Dallas in 2019, Sarah remarked, “Our strength as an organization comes from one another and sharing ideas. AFS-USA is ONE big TEAM…” You have our hearts, Sarah, and we will all miss you on Team AFS-USA.
To honor Sarah Yancey’s legacy, AFS-USA is establishing a scholarship in Sarah’s name to help send a U.S. student abroad. One way to make a gift in tribute to Sarah is by credit card, using the form below. If you would like to make your gift in some other way, please contact Marlene Baker, Vice President of Development at [email protected] or (646) 751-2006. Feel free to also call with questions.