The AFS Global Citizen Prize for Young Leaders is a new international award that will recognize one young person age 30 or younger for their outstanding project that brings together diverse people to tackle the pressing challenges outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The winner will receive a generous cash prize of US$10,000 to continue their work, international recognition and acknowledgement at the AFS Global Conference in Montreal this October.

This annual prize comes at a time when the world is increasingly more divided by isolationist tendencies. Yet at the same time, challenges facing the global community, such as climate change, inequalities or access to opportunities, cannot be effectively resolved by one group alone and require that we work together across differences.

AFS Intercultural Programs, a global not-for-profit known for their international exchange programs, education initiatives, volunteerism and advocacy is behind this new award. They announced the new AFS Global Citizen Prize for Young Leaders last year in order to promote global competence, the ability work work effectively and appropriately with others from different backgrounds, as a key skill required to address any major challenges worldwide.

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires people to bridge the differences that divide us and to work together to find solutions,” says Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs. “We are launching this award to recognize the incredible efforts of so many young changemakers around the world who are working every day to solve the challenges of the communities they live in. They are the global citizens our world needs.

The distinguished Selection Jury members who will choose the inaugural winner includes:

  • Carrie Bloxson, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at
  • Regina Honu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Soronko Solutions
  • Maysa Jalbout, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
  • Wendy Kopp, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Teach For All
  • Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Helmut Schuster, Group Human Resources (HR) at BP.

The generous cash prize is expected to go a long way to help young entrepreneurial citizens to advance their projects. The winner will be invited to participate in the 2019 AFS Global Conference scheduled for this October in Montreal, Canada. On stage, in front of more than 600 leaders in education, business, media and other sectors, the winner will present their project and launch it on a path to replication in other communities with similar issues, scaling up its potential impact on the world.

The inaugural winner of the AFS Global Citizen Prize for Young Leaders will also get the opportunity to join the AFS Global Award winners’ network. The prestigious community already contains renowned individuals and organizations such as Empatico run by Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and Founder of KIND Healthy Snacks, Regina Honu, CEO of Soronko Solutions and world-renowned tech innovator and champion of women’s empowerment, among others.

“Alongside other AFS Global Awards, this prize reaffirms AFS’s commitment to developing active global citizens from all backgrounds. AFS programs and community outreach empower young people with the essential global skills that are required to navigate and contribute to our increasingly diverse communities and world,” says Melissa Liles, Chief Global Engagement Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs.

Nominations are open through 31 May 2019. Find out more at