AFS is expanding our programme to catalyze 5,000 young changemakers worldwide

AFS is proud to announce the new AFS Global STEM Changemakers Initiative, funded by bp. This new initiative aims to provide 5,000 young people worldwide with immersive learning experiences through STEM, global competence, and sustainability-focused intercultural exchange programmes. The initiative will span the next five years (2022-2026) and is run by AFS Intercultural Programs, an international education nonprofit, with funding from bp, a global integrated energy company.

Giving young people the tools to build a more sustainable future

Global sustainability challenges are most effectively addressed by involving young people from diverse backgrounds in every corner of the world. Through immersive learning experiences, the AFS Global STEM Changemakers Initiative will equip diverse young people with critical technical and STEM competencies needed (including exposure to engineering, digital, data science, and wider STEM awareness), paired with design thinking and global competence, including critical thinking, intercultural awareness, and teamwork, to help scholars understand and be prepared to help the world transition to a more sustainable future.
The programme is also designed to empower underrepresented populations, especially young women, with pathways to STEM education, leadership, and social impact.

AFS Global STEM Academies combine virtual and in-person learning and gather diverse young people aged 15 to 17.5 from around the world in global cohorts. The 2022 in-person Academies are scheduled to be held in Brazil, China, India, the USA, and Belgium/UK, where scholars will collaborate on real-world case studies in each market.

The Academies begin with a 12-week virtual curriculum (from home), engaging in global competence skills, social impact, and sustainability-focused workshops, with content co-developed by AFS and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy. The virtual portion of the programme culminates with student-led social impact projects and presentations that offer potential solutions to real-world challenges, with an emphasis on sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the topics of climate change and the energy transition.

Then, after completing the virtual curriculum, Academy scholars travel on a 4-week immersive experience to one of the five Academy destinations: Brazil, China, India, the USA, or Belgium & the United Kingdom. Academy programming focuses on critical STEM skills and intercultural understanding for global sustainability, as well as local cultural immersion. Scholars participate in community service and have the opportunity to visit local innovative, sustainability focused operations to see first-hand how companies and organizations are using STEM skills in practice to address industry and societal challenges, particularly around sustainability.

Programme scholars earn the Advanced Certificate on Global Competence for Social Impact, awarded by AFS and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy.

After programme completion, scholars will be invited to become part of an alumni community which will offer diverse mentoring opportunities, skills development sessions, panel discussions and other development opportunities. Scholars will also have the chance to be invited to participate in the AFS Youth Assembly, a global gathering of young people actively tackling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Applications are open between 24th January 2022 and 4th March 2022.

For more details about the programme, to register, and to apply please follow this link