Our world needs more active global citizens—and teachers play a huge role in educating and supporting the next generation. Congratulations to the 300 educators from 62 countries who just completed the AFS Effect+ for the Classroom Program, a full scholarship global virtual program for high-school teachers who want to learn about key concepts and principles of global citizenship education and how to foster it with their students.

The program is made possible through generous support from the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation. In the past 4 years, this program has reached 1,000 teachers from 65 countries, and impacted 100,000 students.

Honoring Educators’ Accomplishments in a Virtual Ceremony

Since October of 2023, educators went through a 3 chapter journey of developing key concepts and principles of global citizenship education, and how to foster it with their students. First, participants went through the Global Up Educator course and earned the AFS Global Competence Certificate. Later, they utilized the AFS Toolkit for Educators that contains specific lesson plans and resources for how to introduce students to these concepts using the UN Sustainable Development goals as a framework. Most recently educators had the option to mentor and guide student projects that address one or more of the UN SDGs in their local communities for the 2024 Sir Cyril Taylor Young Leaders Awards.

This past Saturday, AFS celebrated the accomplishments of the educators completing the program. The ceremony featured key speeches of recognition from William Gertz, representing the program funder, the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation, and Daniel Obst, the President and CEO of AFS Intercultural programs. Additionally, attendees heard from AFS Qualified Facilitators who helped lead live sessions during the program, as well as participant representatives who shared their experience going through the program. Finally, AFS presented a winning student group with the 2024 Sir Cyril Taylor Young Leaders award, named after the program’s funding organization.

Putting Theory into Practice: Award-Winning Projects Tackle Community Issues Worldwide

AFS received 45 student project submissions from 16 different countries, and had the difficult task of selecting one overall winner and three honorable mention awards.

The overall winner, earning a scholarship for the AFS Global You Changemaker program for all team members, was Colégio Dom Aguirre in Sorocaba, Brazil for Kitchen Oil Recycling, led by teacher Raquel Lechugo Isaac. Kitchen Oil Recycling stood out for its unique and innovative approach to addressing multiple community issues with one simple solution.

Honorable mention award winners included Preparatoria Bosques International School in Aguascalientes, Mexico for the project Voices of Change: Equality without Borders; Technical and Vocational Secondary School of Antsirabe in Antsirabe, Madagascar for Sustainable School Garden; Sat Paul Mittal School in Ludhiana, India for Waste Scavengers. 

The ceremony was celebratory and inspiring with over 100 people in attendance. Regardless of whether people earned an award or not, everyone involved left feeling a part of a global community. AFS commends the educator participants and their students for all of their time and efforts put into the program. Equipping teachers with necessary skills aligns with AFS’ mission to develop active global citizens around the world. AFS is inspired by the educator participants and hopes to continue to provide educator programs open to all.