The Sponsored Programs Advisory Group (SPAG) provides input and guidance to the Sponsored Programs (SP) Department, strives to promote Sponsored Programs priorities throughout the AFS community, and serves as a resource to the volunteer network furthering the AFS staff and volunteer partnership. This can be achieved by:
- Strengthening the infrastructure for mobilizing advocacy for Sponsored Programs
- Identifying ways to engage AFS volunteers with U.S. Department of State ECA Programs
- Advising, consulting, and providing input to SP staff on matters of significance
- Communicating SP opportunities to the larger AFS community
- Recognizing the blending of ECA programs (FLEX, YES, CBYX, NSLI-Y) and AFS Flagship programs as mutually beneficial partnerships
- Fostering an understanding of all Sponsored Programs in alignment with organizational goals and the AFS mission
What is the composition of the advisory group?
This group includes both AFS-USA staff and volunteers. Volunteer representation is based on AFS volunteer experience, interest, and skills. Ideally the group will include volunteers from across the country that have experience and interest in our Sponsored Programs. When possible SP returnees or their parents shall be included.
The group is accountable to the Sponsored Programs Department.
|Marjorie Bigelow||Chair/Volunteer||World Flags (WI)|
|Doreen Warrender||Volunteer||Colorado Rockies|
|Hikaru Hayakawa||Volunteer||Southern New England|
|Marlis Lambson||Volunteer||World Flags (WI)|
|Daniel Gonzalez||Volunteer||San Antonio|
*Advisory Group Co-Chairs
How much time is required?
- The committee will meet by phone conference at least once a month.
- There will be regular email correspondence.
- The progress and outcomes of this committee will be regularly communicated to cluster coordinators and to volunteers in leadership positions.
- Additional or emergency meetings may be called as needed.
How long are terms of membership?
Members are asked to serve a term of three years.
How can I get involved?
To indicate interest in serving as a volunteer on the national level, please complete the National Council Committee and Advisory Group interest form here.
- The SPAG asks that all volunteers who work with Sponsored Programs students in any manner or new volunteers to AFS to complete the Sponsored Programs Up Close online training. The training provides an overview of the relationship between AFS-USA and the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
- 2021 AFS Summit session: "Sponsored Programs Advisory Group: Expanding Connections During IEW.”
- This presentation introduces the SPAG members and highlights key initiatives and goals that the group is working on. More specifically, we'll focus on our goal of promoting International Education Week (IEW) beyond local host communities. The SPAG seeks to align with the AFS organizational priorities of engaging volunteers, heightening brand visibility, and becoming a more diverse organization by working with clusters across the US to extend their students' IEW outreach through the creation of a virtual IEW event where students can share their presentations with a national audience comprised of community-based organizations and educators across the country. We will also present the idea of recording IEW presentations with students locally to create a library which can be shared with volunteers and other stakeholders.