What is Project: Change?

At AFS, we believe that young people can make change.

Project: Change encourages youth to imagine and build a more sustainable world, one community at a time. Because that’s what changemakers do. They use their compassion to understand the challenges others face, and help create new ways to face those challenges, together. They are not lone heroes. Changemakers are collaborators, friends, and allies. They work with communities, not for them. They empower everyone to be a changemaker.

In this changemaking spirit, 8th to 12th grade students are invited to propose a project idea that works toward one (or a few) of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in a relevant country in the AFS Global Prep network.

The one grand prize winner and four runners-up will receive full scholarships for the AFS Project: Change Trip, a supplemented AFS Global Prep trip abroad to the country addressed in the grand prize winner's proposal. While the proposed project will not be implemented, it will be shared and assessed with community partners in country on the trip. Trip participants will learn principles and practices of international development and changemaking, workshop the winning proposal with community partners in country, and cultivate their global competence through intercultural exchange. 

Powered by AFS Global Prep

Global Prep offers one to three-week summer programs that connect impactful cultural experiences with Sustainable Development Goals. Eight Global Prep countries are available for Project: Change proposals. For more destinations and program topics, check out Global Prep.

How to Enter Project: Change

To enter the scholarship contest, passionate 8th to 12th graders should...

Step 1
Learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and country needs. Get inspired by other changemakers' stories. Choose a goal and country.
Step 2
Research existing solutions working toward the goal in the country you chose. Generate ideas for innovative solutions or new ways to collaborate with existing ones.
Step 3
Turn your ideas into a project proposal specific to the goal and country you chose. Inspire us with your empathy, research, and plan of action!

Students can apply anytime starting October 2nd until November 25th (at 11:59 PM EST).
After the application period closes, all project proposals will seek nominations online.
Voting opens November 26th and closes December 30th (at 11:59 PM EST).
The top 100 project proposals with the most votes will be considered by AFS-USA for the scholarships.

The Changemaking Cycle

Part of the purpose of Project: Change is to introduce young changemakers to the fundamentals and process of designing, launching, and sustaining a development project. See how Project: Change fits into the larger lifecycle of an international development project:

To get inspired, browse resources, and start identifying UN Sustainable Development Goals and where to work on them in AFS countries, check out our Learn page.