AFS’s most valuable asset is arguably its worldwide network of volunteers. Over the past 60 years, the AFS network has become one of the largest volunteer-based organizations of its kind in the world spanning more than 50 countries. The AFS-USA commitment to volunteering is an important element of our mission statement which reads:
“AFS-USA works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership”
Volunteerism is deeply embedded in the history and roots of our organization going back to the “volunteer” ambulance drivers who comprised the original American Field Service. Those original volunteers founded AFS Intercultural Programs on the belief that by promoting the exchange of high school students between local communities in the U.S and local communities in other countries, they could foster a worldwide culture of cooperation and understanding among peoples and nations. They also believed that local community volunteers were key to accomplishing this mission. From the very beginning, volunteers have been the heart and soul of the AFS experience – recruiting, preparing, and supporting our program participants, host families, and natural families while promoting intercultural understanding in their communities across the United States and around the world. The passion and dedication our volunteers bring to our programs have a tremendous impact on the experience of our participants and on how our mission and our organization are perceived in the local communities and in the schools in which we work. We do not believe that our organization could have the reach or the overall impact we currently have without our volunteer network.
As we move into the future, AFS-USA continues to be committed to the promotion of volunteerism and to our vision of supporting a volunteer force that represents the rich diversity and culture of the USA. Our network of volunteers and staff is one that works not in silos, but in an environment of true partnership with shared responsibility and accountability in the delivery and support of our AFS mission and programs.
What Local MissTennKy Opportunities are available for Volunteers?
MissTennKy is in need of:
- Hosting Volunteers
- Sending Interviewers
- Support Volunteers
- Orientation Leaders
Give as much or as little time as you can, just ask where you are needed! No amount of time is too little. Maybe you could pick up students from the airport, or drive to an orientation, maybe you could lead a session with the students or host families at an orientation, maybe you could help potential host families choose a student, maybe you could be in contact once a month with a student and their host family, anything! Learn more and apply at afsusa.org/volunteer.
As a volunteer, you could meet students like Lena from Austria, who attends Millington High School in Millington, TN!