Jan 4 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes January 4, 2016

Present: Deirdre, Danielle, Caren, Marian, Anne, Greg   
Excused: David S

1 - Support situation (5 min)
Mamoru - Bevans family
This was a great example of a well handled support situation. Support volunteers Lynn and Jim worked very hard with Adriana from support staff to try to maintain student in his home.
A Plan for Success was put in place and all of the family members participated in setting reasonable goals. After a short time however the student asked if he could move. The student’s liaison agreed to apply to be his host family. The family change will happen soon. Lynn announced the move with the family in a respectful constructive way.
Cory was suggested and since our meeting she has agreed to be his new liaison for the rest of the year.

2 - Upcoming Mid-Year Orientation Feb 4
Volunteers discussed the team's traditional approach to this orientation : scavenger hunt at MIIS , a visit to the Monterey Aquarium, meetings at the Monterey Youth Center.
Janelle/Greg agreed take the lead on this in the absence of an Orientation Coordinator.
Janelle - Greg coordinated and agreed to do a one-day event
Can we do an orientation with host parents?
Any meeting spaces in Salinas?
Anyone have a home available?
Deirdre likes Pajaro Dune - volunteers decided

(Since the meeting Janelle visited the Monterey Zoo. She and Greg have agreed to hold the orientation there with the option for the host parents to visit local wineries in the environs. An announcement was sent out to families and students.)

3 - Push for Sending
First deadlines to go abroad are Mid March but application deadlines are staggered over the entire spring.

Last month the team set a goal to send 20 students from our area abroad keeping in mind that we benefit from the Hawley Scholarship.
AFS Traditional method for promoting AFS activities abroad for US students:
Volunteers conduct presentation of AFS in local schools and follow up with students who express interest.
Our recent model for promoting AFS activities abroad for US students:
Caren - our Team Development Specialist has been doing most of the school presentations during her trips to our regions. Many of the leads have begun to come directly from the internet. AFS USA spends money buying online ads.
Some of the problems with our present model:
Caren has limited time in our area. Volunteers don’t necessarily know the many opportunities AFS offers for international exchange. Applicants may or may not have a local contact with AFS who can share their passion and guide them through the process.
Brainstorming ideas to overcome some of these obstacles:
  • Press: Contact local news outlets to promote an article on the powerful Elita Hawley story - the local woman, passionate about AFS, who left money for student scholarships. NO ACTION PLAN FOR THIS
  • Brochures: Continue with the idea of making sure all volunteers and host families/students have sending brochures to be able to promote sending when they can. ACTION PLAN: Caren agreed to order brochures online to have them sent to volunteers.  Greg will send brochures to each hosted family. Marian agreed to take brochures to people around the Monterey chapter area
  • Adopt a new school presentation model: Caren is requesting that local volunteers 1)  add to the presentations she already does by conducting presentations in their local schools and clubs 2)  host a follow up face to face meet-up with interested parties within one week of a school presentation. She agreed to share future dates for school presentations (follow up on this to be discussed and decided upon during next meeting). NO ACTION PLAN
  • Promote Global Prep:  A great AFS activity that can be less intimidating for students/families interested in going abroad: “Global Prep” - 2 week activity, with a specific focus. This activity can be a good way for some students to go abroad then go again on a longer term activity. For volunteers it does not require an in home student interview
  • Facebook promotions: Deirdre suggested a more paper free strategy would be to use Facebook as a way to promote sending. She suggested we ask local volunteers who have large Facebook networks to send promotions. NO ACTION PLAN FOR THIS
  • Increase our volunteer base: Finally Marian felt that we need more volunteers to help if we want to accomplish these goals.  Have we invited any of the parents of recent students who have gone abroad? ACTIONS: Caren agreed to create a list of those families and send it out to volunteers. Deirdre has reached out these families for the Salinas Valley chapter event

4 - Our own Team Mid-Year Check In
Volunteers voted to postpone this final item for lack of time. It will appear on the next meeting agenda.

Background Information:
In May 2016 several key volunteers stepped down and Greg agreed to become the Team Chair. Greg proposes we take a moment to hear from volunteers and understand what's working, where we need to focus our energies for the remainder of the school year.

Work document: the survey results that 12 volunteers came up with:

January 29 10AM-12Noon -  Face to face meeting at the home of Anne H.
Open to all registered volunteers.
For directions contact Anne at anne.herendeen@afsusa.org

Greg informed volunteers he'd be on vacation January 12-24