Helping to bring the people of the world together is exciting, interesting, and rewarding work. For 70 years, AFS Volunteers have given their time to empower students, families and communities to overcome cultural barriers through increased understanding. Our volunteers come from every pocket of America, and their impact is felt on both a local and global scale.
Stories from our volunteers
"Every single moment is inspiring when you understand the impact that is made through the AFS mission." - Eric Lomeli, Volunteer in San Antonio, TX
Who are AFS Volunteers?
Kathleen, a returnee and volunteer with the Florida team since 2009, shares her story!
Rio’s own study abroad experience drove him to give back and help future students navigate their adventures.
Stassa & Jay Phillips
As retired teachers, Stassa and Jay continue to encourage diversity and open-mindedness in their community.
Ever since her high school AFS Club, Carol has been inspired by the students, families, and volunteers she’s come to know.
Eric learned about AFS through his son’s school, and is now a host parent and volunteer with his local team.
Stephanie keeps her foreign language skills up by volunteering and helping fellow high schoolers learn about the world.
Each year AFS presents awards to the volunteers that go beyond the call of duty. Thank you to our current and former winners for carrying the mission forward!
Galatti Award Winner
Galatti Award Winner:
Dallas Team, TX
The 2016 Galatti award was presented to AFS-USA volunteer Linne Shields. Linne Shields is an AFS pillar in the Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas) market. Linne is well known for her skills in mentoring, coaching and inspiring numerous AFS volunteers as they took on key support responsibilities and moved into important leadership positions. Her insight, wisdom and knowledge, proven in each of the many volunteer roles, have positioned her as a strategic and valued AFS leader. As Co-Chair of the AFS USA National Support Advisory Committee, she directly influenced the AFS participant support policy. Linne and her husband host an annual trip for local AFS participants to Washington, D.C., where they visit the nation’s most important monuments and learn about American culture. Linne has been a host mom to 10 students and opened her home to 64 students for temporary stays.
Young Volunteer Award
Young Volunteer Award for Outstanding Service Winner:
East Metro Team, MN
The 2016 Young Volunteer Award goes to Jasmine Landry from East Metro. Jasmine is an AFS returnee who went to Germany in 2009 on a Congress Bundestag (CB) scholarship. Despite being a busy young student, she’s able to tackle many different volunteer roles, and is proactive in thinking of ways she can help the team. She has been a volunteer since 2011 and is the team’s Returnee Coordinator. She also serves as a liaison, sending volunteer and does both hosting and sending orientations. Jasmine possesses the ability to nurture current exchange students and offer perspectives to host parents and host siblings. Her own education and exchange experience offers the AFS community a solid resource. Her passion and energy for the AFS mission is contagious and she has a commitment to broaden opportunities for others through intercultural learning.
Mission Award Winner:
Greater Cincinnati Team, OH
Marla Gamble, from Greater Cincinnati has won the 2016 Mission Award. Marla has been volunteering with AFS for almost 30 years. She conducts the many presentations throughout the area, sharing her excitement for the incoming students. Everyone has a gift in life and hers is matching the student with a family. She takes the time to get to know each host family in order to know what would make a fabulous fit. Marla continues to build a superior rapport with key school officials opening so many possibilities for AFS. The result is that only a few short years ago the Dayton Area had less than 10 students and for the 2016-2017 year there were 27 placements, thanks to Marla!
Peggy & Art Howe Award
Peggy & Art Howe Award Winner:
The Munro-Proulx Family
Northwest California Team, CA
We are pleased to announce that USA nominee “the Proulx Family” was one of the International winners of this award. Recognizing the need to promote AFS programs to diverse communities, the Proulx family members have been the ultimate AFS ambassadors since 1997. Following the lead of parents Abby and Michael, the family has reached out to different religious and cultural organizations, as well as actively encouraged LGBTQ families to join AFS. Proulx family members have fulfilled a variety of AFS leadership roles, including helping to manage the local NorthWest California AFS chapters, developing and supporting Sponsored Program clusters, coordinating outdoor activities and participating in the AFS USA National Council. In addition to volunteering, the Proulx family has hosted AFS students from many countries. Over the years, siblings Andrea, Anthea, Kinara and Bonnie and granddaughter Fiona have enjoyed helping AFS students make the most of their international experience.
Emerging Leader Award
Emerging Leader Award Winner:
Michigan Team, MI
Claire Charlton, from the Michigan Team, is the recipient of the 2016 Emerging Leader Award. Claire is a leader and a self-starter, creative and energetic. Claire has been a host Mom three times and a welcome family once. Claire has also been a liaison and is currently the liaison coordinator for the Metro Detroit Chapter. As coordinator, Claire has established an excellent working relationship with the liaisons. She meets with them often to conduct training, go over issues and make sure all contacts are made and timely reported. Claire also conducts the Arrival Orientation for the Michigan Area Team. She has a passion for AFS and continues to display it.
Get in Touch
If you have questions about the opportunities to volunteer, read our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at [email protected]