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Congrats to 2017 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 50,000 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 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Award winners and extend a warm thank you to all of our amazing AFS volunteers.

2017 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.


Costa Rica

Floria Arias

Ms. Arias’ long-lasting service and commitment to AFS at all levels including three terms serving on the AFS Board of Trustees and many key national and local roles at AFS Costa Rica speak to her dedication to the AFS mission. Her volunteer career spans 32 years and to this day she continues her service to AFS as an active grassroots volunteer in her local chapter. Ms. Arias spearheaded intercultural learning and education agendas at AFS Costa Rica, organizing the first global education conference, authoring an intercultural learning manual and numerous other materials and articles on the topic, and organizing trainings and workshops for teachers. She continues mentoring young AFS volunteers, empowering her local chapter and taking on key responsibilities for AFS Costa Rica. 



Roselyne Batteux

A truly dedicated AFS Volunteer, Ms. Batteux hosted more than 40 students in her home since 1991, sent all her children on AFS programs, successfully led her local chapter to become one of the most successful ones in France, taken on key roles at the national level and helped AFS France establish key alliances with local schools. Her long standing commitment to the AFS mission is the true embodiment of AFS values.



Suwanee Chatwattanasukon

Ms. Chatwattanasukon has an impressive track record of 35 years of contribution to the AFS mission. She played a key role in supporting more than 250 Thai students to have a successful intercultural learning experience with AFS, including 15 disadvantaged students who were granted AFS Thailand full scholarship. In addition to many national recognitions she has received from AFS, Ms. Chatwattanasukon was also awarded the National Outstanding Volunteer by the Thai Ministry of Social Development and Human Security in 2013.

2017 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.



Shuggi M. and Andrea Arnemann

While Andrea is the Board Chair of AFS Germany, both she and Shuggi are among the volunteers who founded AFS Queertausch, a group of AFS volunteers and staff who advocate for LGBT rights, alternative families and lifestyles as a part of student exchanges and international voluntary service programs. They encourage an open dialogue and inclusion, ensuring that LGBT rights and issues are visible in AFS Germany. Apart from founding Queertausch and being actively involved with AFS for 25 years, Shuggi and Andrea have hosted six exchange students together.



Jessica and Jason Andres

With more than 14 years of active involvement and volunteering in AFS, the entire extended Andres family is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in and beyond their AFS chapter in Michigan. The family have been active volunteers in many different roles, including supporting students, promoting hosting, training and mentoring new leaders, and expanding the reach of AFS programs to new areas. Jessica’s time with AFS has been a family endeavor and her influence has touched lives in the community, family and friends. The “ripple effect” of her involvement extends far beyond her nuclear family and has promoted the mission of AFS within and beyond her local community.