Sebastian, an AFS volunteer since the age of 14, has consistently demonstrated remarkable dedication to the organization’s mission. His journey with AFS began in 2012, driven by his passionate commitment. Initially, he assisted in preparing students for international journeys and actively contributed to promotional efforts. As he grew within the organization, Sebastian received training as a contact person, providing crucial support to host students and actively participating in monthly hosting meetings.

In 2017, Sebastian embarked on a scholarship-backed exchange program in Germany, further deepening his connection with AFS. Upon his return, he engaged in promotion. In 2018, he introduced a school visitation methodology, conducting informative tours of Popayán, a significant contribution to the organization.

One of Sebastian’s most impactful contributions lies in the realm of environmental education in local schools. He initiated ecological initiatives and conducted German language classes for sending participants, leaving a lasting impression on the community. Sebastian’s competence, honed through various workshops, enables him to effectively lead activities. At the age of 25, he now serves as the esteemed president of the Popayán committee, actively mentoring new volunteers and warmly welcoming participants into his home, considering them part of his extended family.

Sebastian’s dedication, commitment, and contributions as an AFS volunteer are truly exceptional. He embodies the spirit of AFS by shaping the intercultural experiences of students and engaging in promotions. His influence extends to globalizing educational institutions through school visitations and informative tours, exposing students to diverse cultures and perspectives. Furthermore, his involvement in projects focusing on recycling and environmental conservation highlights his dedication to expanding access to intercultural education, creating awareness, and making a impact on participants and his community.

“The commitment and positive impact Sebastian has had on AFS and the lives of the participants make him highly deserving of this award. His dedication and contributions serve as an inspiration for all volunteers and members of the AFS community.”

—Popayán Chapter volunteers

Young AFS Volunteer Award

Volunteerism has an important role to play in harnessing the potential of young people, and in AFS, young volunteers make fundamental contributions to promote intercultural understanding. Established in 2015, the Young AFS Volunteer Award for Outstanding Service recognizes AFS volunteers under the age of 30 whose exceptional contributions to the organization have made a difference in advancing the mission and goals of AFS.

In 2023, winners of the Young AFS Volunteer Award winners were Mohammad Shadab, AFS India and Juan Sebastián Porras Chaves, AFS Colombia.