AFS expands program to catalyze 5,000 young changemakers worldwide

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — 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 programs. 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 help build a more sustainable future

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 program is also designed to empower underrepresented populations, especially young women, with pathways to STEM education, leadership, and social impact.

Over the next five years, AFS plans for selected young scholars to be able to participate in one of three distinct programs:

After program completion, scholars will be invited to join 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.

Empowering young people to become changemakers through STEM

AFS brings decades of expertise in impact-driven educational exchange and the power of a global network. “Skills like cross-cultural communication, empathy, and conflict resolution are mission-critical for our world. Educating more young people to become global citizens is crucial if we want to create a more sustainable future. We are delighted to scale our partnership with bp and advance our shared commitment to more equitable education,” says Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs.

bp supports initiatives such as this to help build the STEM talent that the world needs to create sustainable solutions and improve the diversity of talent in STEM.

Applications for the AFS Global STEM Academies will open in January 2022, with applications for the Global STEM Innovators and Global STEM Accelerators programs to follow. Find out more about the initiative, program requirements and dates at

About AFSAFS Intercultural Programs is a global not-for-profit Network that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. Through international exchange programs, education initiatives, volunteerism and advocacy, AFS empowers people from all backgrounds with essential global skills—and the passion for making a difference. AFS Intercultural Programs leverages the power and reach of 55 National AFS Organizations working together to accelerate local, global and collective impact.

About bpbp’s purpose is to reimagine energy for people and our planet. It has set out an ambition ‎to be a ‎net zero company by 2050, or sooner and help the world get to net zero, and a ‎strategy for ‎delivering on that ambition. For more information visit

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