AFS expands program to catalyze 5,000 young changemakers globally

NEW YORK, January 24, 2022 /CNW/ – AFS is proud to announce the new AFS Global STEM Changemakers Initiative, financed by bp. This new initiative aims to provide 5,000 young people around the world with immersive learning experiences through cross-cultural exchange programs focusing on STEM, global skills and sustainability. The initiative will span the next five years (2022-2026) and is managed by AFS Intercultural Programs, an international nonprofit education organization, with funding from bp, an integrated global energy company.

The new AFS Global STEM Changemakers initiative will offer 5,000 scholarships for cross-cultural exchange with a focus on sustainability

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 the essential technical and STEM skills needed (including exposure to engineering, digital, data science and broader awareness to STEM), combined with design thinking and global skills, including reflection, cross-cultural awareness and teamwork, to help scholars understand and prepare to help the global transition to a future more sustainable.

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 expects selected young researchers to participate in one of three distinct programs:

  • AFS Global STEM Academies, which combine virtual and in-person learning and bring together diverse young people aged 15-17.5 from around the world in global cohorts. The 2022 In-Person Academies are scheduled to be held at Brazil, China, Indiathe United Statesand Belgium/UK, where researchers will collaborate on real case studies in each market.

  • AFS Global STEM Acceleratorswhich are virtual interactive workshops for girls around the world aged 15-17.5, focused on sustainability and positive social impact, empowering girls to become agents of change in their communities.

  • AFS Global STEM Innovators, for young people aged 14-16, which begins with a virtual program on global skills and ends with a two-day in-person workshop, focusing on sustainability and local impact. The 2022 workshops are scheduled to take place at Perth, Australia; Cairo, Egypt; and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Upon completion of the program, Fellows will be invited to join an alumni community that will provide various mentorship opportunities, skill-building sessions, panel discussions, and other development opportunities. Fellows will also have the chance to be invited to participate in the AFS Youth Assembly, a global gathering of young people who are actively tackling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Empowering young people to become agents of change through STEM

AFS brings decades of expertise in educational exchanges focused on the impact and power of a global network. “Skills such as cross-cultural communication, empathy and conflict resolution are essential for our world. Educating more young people to become global citizens is crucial if we are to create a more sustainable future. We are excited to expand our partnership with bp and advancing our shared commitment to a more equitable education,” says Daniel ObstPresident and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs.

bp supports initiatives like this to help develop the STEM talent the world needs to create sustainable solutions and improve talent diversity 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. To learn more about the initiative, program requirements and dates, go to

About AFS
AFS Intercultural Programs is a global nonprofit 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, educational initiatives, volunteerism and advocacy, AFS empowers people from all walks of life with essential global skills and a passion to make a difference. AFS cross-cultural programs leverage the power and reach of 55 AFS National Organizations working together to accelerate local, global and collective impact.

About bp
bp’s goal is to reinvent energy for people and our planet. It set out the ambition to be a net zero company by 2050, or sooner, and help the world get to net zero, as well as a strategy to achieve that ambition. For more information, visit



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