Vice President, Host Family Experience & Stakeholder Engagement
Mary Jo Brock first experienced the transformative effect of exchange as a host sibling to AFS student Manuela from Peru in 1980. The open-mindedness, empathy, and understanding of cultural differences, learned during an AFS hosting experience, carried forward into her later work with diverse students and families during her 18 years managing a school library.
She joined AFS-USA in 2003 following a two-year period spent administering national and international assessments in schools throughout the Midwest. Combining her knowledge of schools and students with her deep affinity for AFS felt like a homecoming.
Since that time Mary Jo has overseen the placement of thousands of hosted students with host families, as well as the development of resources for the volunteers and schools who support these placements and make the lived experiences possible. Today, her focus is on leveraging the connections between these stakeholders in order to increase engagement at all levels.
While AFS has provided her with relationships and experiences throughout the world, her roots are in Michigan where she continues to live with her husband in the 100-year-old home where four generations of her family, and many exchange students, have lived – and where her children and grandchildren visit often!