Team Overview


We are thrilled to welcome you to the web page of AFS Columbia Pacific Team. We are a team of volunteers, students and host families who have the ability to share skills and knowledge. We also have the opportunity to learn, meet new people, and have fun being a part of an international organization focusing on supporting the mission of working towards a more just and peaceful world.

About Our Team

The Columbia Pacific Team covers the area of Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington near the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.

Who We Are

As of 2018, our team consists of:




Exchange Students


American Students Abroad

Open Volunteer Positions

There are a number of different ways that you can be involved and engaged in our team. Here are a few volunteer roles that we are looking to fill for the upcoming 2019-2020 program year!

Click on the volunteer opportunity (or scroll down the page) to see the responsibilities of each position. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Joanne Yokoyama-Martin at [email protected] or Shaun Sullens at [email protected] for more information.

Please know that training and support are provided for each role and experienced mentors can be provided.

Team Secretary:

  • Taking minutes for every team meeting (in person and by conference call). The team has 10 meetings per year
  • Posting minutes in the AFS Columbia Pacific Google folder
  • Sharing minutes with team leadership volunteers
  • Work with Team Chairperson(s) in developing the team meeting agenda
  • Arrange and communicate seven in-person meeting locations (finds and secures in-person meeting sites with help from the Team Development Specialist (TDS)
  • Arrange and Coordinate three team meeting conference calls

Team Event Coordinator: 

  • Ensures that every team event has a coordinator/organizer responsible for the event
  • Fills in as event coordinator as needed
  • Determines budget, finances, and paperwork needed for each event with Team Treasurer

Team Liaison Coordinator:

  • Works with Team Volunteer Coordinator and Chapter Chairs in recruiting liaisons needed for the host students
  • Organizes the liaison training with liaison trainer
  • Mentors and supports new liaisons
  • Monitors and ensures liaisons are entered into national liaison spreadsheet
  • Ensures liaisons are entering the required contacts on MyAFS or Global Link for the host students, host families, and schools

Chapter Support Coordinator:

  • Acts as the first point of contact for liaisons for support situations related to our hosted students and their host families
  • Works closely with the Team Support Coordinator/s in managing support cases in chapter
  • Communicates and works closely with AFS-USA support staff as needed

Hosting Orientation Coordinator:

  • Forming a host orientation team
  • Delivery of the required orientations for hosted students
  • Oversee the planning and implementation of five hosted student orientations
  • Determine and develop the location and agenda for each orientation
  • Oversee distribution of all orientation materials and record activities in Global Link
  • Communicate and coordinate with AFS National Staff – the Arrival and End-of-Stay orientations
  • Works with the Treasurer to secure contacts and budget for each orientation

Sending Interview Coordinator:

  • Ensures all sending applicants are interviewed by local sending interviewers
  • As part of the training for new interviewers, pair new interviewers with experienced interviewers
  • Support sending applicants and their parents through the application process

Chapter Community Rep:

  • Recruits local volunteers to reach out to schools and community organizations
  • Researches and signs up for community events that support the AFS mission
  • Collects and provides social media content to the social media intern

If you still haven’t found the volunteer position (above) that you are looking for, below are a couple other opportunities!

Maybe being a liaison would be for you! You would contact a hosted student and his or her host family at least monthly. Please fill out this form to let us know if this is something that would interest you!

Or, perhaps you are interested in being a Group Leader at Orientations. We need volunteers to be groups leaders at orientations throughout the year that students are required to attend. If this is of  interest to you, sign up here.

If you are already a volunteer, please join us on Facebook!

As a volunteer, we have two Facebook groups set up that may be of interest. Send a request to join the 2019-2020 AFS Columbia Pacific Facebook Group and the Columbia Pacific Volunteers Group to keep up with what’s going on throughout the Area.  Check out the National Volunteer Blog.

Let us know your interests and how you’d like to help – Please take the Columbia Pacific Volunteer Survey!

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to take our Volunteer Survey so we can keep track of your interests and contact you when a volunteer opportunity comes up that you might be excited about.

AFS Local & National Scholarships

Contact our Area Team


Hosting Team
[email protected]
(800) 876-2376, ext. 3384,
or go to the National Hosting Page.

Going Abroad with AFS

Tricia Melnik
[email protected]
or go to the National Study Abroad Page

Volunteering with AFS

Joanne Yokoyama-Martin 
[email protected]
(503) 481-6512
or go to the National Volunteering Page

Our Local Volunteer Team

Jean Goecks
[email protected]
(360) 798-2216


Mary Soplop
[email protected]

Request to join our 2019-2020 AFS Columbia Pacific Facebook Group

Calendar of Events

Host Families


Our local group of AFS volunteers would like to extend a warm welcome to you, as a Host Family for the coming year.  We want to share some information that we hope you will find useful.


  • We’ve set up a Facebook group for the 2019-2020 hosting year.  If you’re on Facebook, please request to join the group to keep up with discussions, share ideas, ask questions, and get to know others.  If you are already in touch with your Exchange Student, encourage him or her to join the group as well. Send a request to join the group at: 2019-2020 AFS Columbia Pacific
  • In addition, our communications coordinator will send out emails with important information.


If you have not finished your online Host Family Orientation, please do so. Your student will not be allowed to travel without all paperwork completed. Please contact Shaun Sullens, our local staff person, if you need assistance.

Phone: 503-894-0367 Email: [email protected]


The students have FOUR additional orientations throughout the year, mandated by the US Department of State.  This gives AFS volunteers the opportunity to ensure that the students are adapting to our culture, developing interpersonal relationship skills with family and friends, maintaining safe habits and succeeding in school. The students are REQUIRED to attend these. Mark your calendar! Please do NOT schedule any travel or family activities on these dates.  The additional events on the calendar may change.  Please check the calendar often.

Hosted Students

Please remember to check in with your liaison every month, if not more. They love hearing about your new experiences!

We’ve set up a Facebook Group for the 2019-2020 Hosting Year.  Have you joined the group so you can be part of the conversations and keep up with what’s going on in the Area?

Students on US State Department scholarships (YESFLEX, and Congress-Bundestag) have additional activities that are required.  The students will participate in government, cultural, and volunteer activities. Sponsored Program students are also expected to participate in International Education Week.  All exchange students are welcome to join in these activities, but there may be a fee associated with the activity.  If you are interested in participating in the activity, please contact Mary Soplop, who is the Columbia Pacific Sponsored Programs coordinator.


Columbia Pacific Team