By Sean Reilly, Director of Program Development

AFS has been shortlisted for the 2024 PIEoneer Awards: Championing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – showcasing the successes of the Global STEM Accelerators program. The award ceremony will take place in September 2024 in London to celebrate innovation and achievement in education.

The Accelerators program is a full-scholarship virtual exchange program for young women worldwide who are active global citizens and energized to tackle the world’s sustainability challenges. The program has welcomed 726 young women from 86 countries to date (including 71 refugees and displaced persons).

This nomination follows AFS’s win of the 2023 PIEoneer of the Year Award; This flagship award from The PIE (Professionals in International Education) is one of the most important distinctions in the field of global education, honoring innovations and advancements impacting the field for the better.

AFS won the PIEoneer of the Year Awrad in 2023

AFS recognizes that systemic barriers hold young women back from accessing quality education globally, especially women of color and refugees. The gender gap is especially prominent in STEM. By providing opportunities for traditionally underrepresented young women to access education in STEM and sustainability worldwide, AFS is closing the gender gap – and privilege gap – to create a more equitable and sustainable future.

The Accelerators program is a part of the broader AFS Global STEM Changemakers Initiative, funded by bp, which includes a series of five unique program opportunities focusing on STEM, sustainability and global citizenship. Through these programs, AFS is harnessing inclusive program infrastructure, innovating hybrid and virtual curricula, diversifying recruitment, and breaking down financial barriers to STEM education wherever possible. To date, the Initiative has funded 2,463 scholars from 110 countries since launching in 2022.

The intended impact is to equip young people and educators from diverse backgrounds around the world with key technical competencies, such as digital skills, design thinking, and data literacy, paired with global competencies, such as critical thinking, intercultural awareness, and teamwork, to become changemakers in their communities and work towards a sustainable future.

Learn more about this initiative in the 2023 Global STEM Impact Report and on the official website.