Congrats to 2018 AFS Outstanding Volunteers Award Winners!

AFS is the leading volunteer-driven global international education organization dedicated to creating active global citizens, globalizing schools and institutions, and expanding access to intercultural education.
Supported by 53,000 volunteers worldwide, AFS empowers people of all ages to live, lead and collaborate in diverse settings—in their local communities and around the world. Driven by the mission to foster greater intercultural understanding, AFS volunteers have built a global AFS community of more than 1 million people committed to creating a more just and peaceful world.
We congratulate all of the 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Award winners and extend a warm thank you to all of our amazing AFS volunteers.

2018 AFS Galatti Award

Established in 1983, the AFS Galatti Award honors AFS volunteers whose longtime commitment, dedication and exceptional journey with the organization have advanced the AFS mission and created an impact. It is awarded in honor of Stephen Galatti, who was Director General of AFS for more than 28 years (1936-1964) and who built and transformed AFS into a world-wide organization that promotes peace and global awareness through intercultural learning experiences.



Lisa Sophia Marti

Lisa has been an AFS volunteer for 10 years in which she has shown dedication to the AFS values and has made significant positive impact in her community, making her a valued recipient of the Galatti Award.

Lisa is the leader of an extraordinary changemaking project, “voCHabular”, that fosters inclusion and integration by helping refugees in Switzerland learn German, and by providing workshops for immigrant teenagers to reflect on their intercultural experience. The project now includes 50 volunteers in various teams, and it has been expanded to include interactive books covering Arabic, Persian (Farsi/Dari) and English translations to (Swiss) German. Lisa co-created the working group which incorporates aspects of global learning into the trainings of AFS Switzerland and she has facilitated numerous workshops on active citizenship, global learning, racism, gender, stereotypes, debriefing, refugees and sustainability, all with the aim of fostering peace and understanding.

Lisa studied abroad with AFS (Switzerland to France, 2007), and her family hosted several times.

“The AFS community has been a big inspiration for my engagement as an active global citizen and changemaker. I was very lucky to have had the chance of an exchange year, and to engage in volunteering and be surrounded by both empowering people and infrastructure. I believe that, step by step, we can all contribute to change. I hope to be an inspiration for others who aim for a positive impact in their communities.” — Lisa Marti, AFS Switzerland volunteer



Susan Rowley

For her lifetime dedication to the AFS mission, Susan has earned the 2018 Galatti Award. Studying abroad with AFS (USA to Denmark, 1960) started Susan’s AFS journey, which includes preparing and supporting exchange students, founding and managing local AFS chapters in the USA, serving on regional and national councils, fundraising and much more. Susan’s children have studied abroad with AFS, and she and her husband, Dave, have hosted students at least a dozen times. One might think that her local volunteer services and duties might be enough for someone who has volunteered for 60 years, but Susan has also always found time to serve on AFS advisory boards to give her invaluable insight to help to streamline the work of AFS-USA.

Ward Chamberlin, an AFS ambulance driver and one of the founders of our organization, once wrote of Susan, “[Her] influence in the American Field Service as a global institution and her personal effect on the hundreds of AFS boys and girls that have stayed in her region are not precisely quantifiable, but I can tell you that they have been enormous. The warmth and generosity of her personality set a standard for us all to attain.”

“It became a challenge for my life creating peace one person at a time, listening and seeking to really understand in all the relationships I formed—in schools, in communities, in states, in teams regionally and internationally.” — Susan Rowley, AFS-USA volunteer

2018 Peggy and Art Howe Award

Established in 2016, Peggy and Art Howe Award honors the outstanding service of AFS volunteer families. This award is inspired by the Howe family, who volunteered for AFS for more than six decades. Art Howe was a volunteer AFS Ambulance Driver in World War II, President of AFS (1965-1971), and Life Trustee until his passing in 2014.



Guven Family

Ilkay, Irfan, Ozgur and Deniz Guven are a family that lives the AFS values, investing their time and energy into expanding access to intercultural opportunities to diverse and underprivileged youth since 2011. They are one of the key champions of the domestic exchange program titled “Sisters and Brothers of Turkey” which brings together young Turks from Hakkari at the east of the country together with their peers in Istanbul. Thanks to their activities, 10 students from Hakkari have participated in the high school study abroad program with AFS scholarships. An educator herself, Ilkan Guven, the mother of the family, regularly organizes intercultural learning workshops for her students and their families, empowering them to become active global citizens. The family regularly participates in orientation and selection camps for AFS students, the children have studied abroad with AFS, while the family has hosted foreign students. Every year, the Guvens run the Istanbul marathon in order to fundraise for AFS.

“Our family believes that small actions can have great consequences. That’s why respect for difference, cultural diversity, and active citizenship are very important for us. That is why we volunteer for AFS – we know that what we do for AFS and its noble peace mission creates stories for our family and adds meaning to it.” — Deniz Guven, AFS Turkey volunteer