NEW YORK, February 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Available to young women (ages 15-17.5) worldwide, applications are now open for AFS Global STEM Accelerators: a virtual exchange program of full scholarships in sustainable development, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and positive social impact.
The program is managed by AFS Intercultural Programs, a global nonprofit intercultural exchange network with more than 75 years of experience in international education. AFS received the 2022 Diversity Abroad Award Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) Prize for the successful inauguration of the accelerators. 20% of scholarships will be allocated specifically to refugees and girls from displaced populations, whether due to war, violence or natural disaster.
The Accelerators program is part of a larger program five-year scholarship initiative aiming to reach 5,000 young people worldwide, with a focus on supporting women. The initiative is funded by bp, and the programs are co-developed by AFS and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy. AFS raises awareness with the support of SPARK, an international NGO that creates pathways for young people, especially women and refugees, in fragile communities around the world. The program also provides Internet and technical assistance to users in need.
Previous scholarship recipients reflect the diversity for which the program was designed: 20% were refugees or internally displaced persons; 82% identified as people of color; 51% belonged to low-income households; and 10% are expected to be the first members of their family to graduate from high school.
The voices of AFS researchers echo the desire for a better and more inclusive future: “I come from a traditional society where girls are not even allowed to go to school”, says Harira, a participant from Afghanistan. “Participating in this program is my first step towards achieving my goal of exploring the world and becoming influential in improving sustainable societies.”
The Accelerators program culminates with researchers developing social impact projects and presentations that offer potential solutions to real-world challenges, with a focus on sustainability. Participants earn the Advanced Certificate in Global Competence for Social Impact, awarded by the AFS and the University of Pennsylvania.
“It’s always exciting to see strong interest from bright young women around the world,” said Kerry DryburghEVP people & culture, bp. “With their passion to make a difference and the skills they will learn, they are future changemakers, leaders and innovators.”
Applications are open until March 15, 2023and the first cohort begins on May 13.
Find out more and apply: https://afs.org/global-stem/accelerators.
SOURCE AFS Intercultural Programs