It’s a wrap on the 2023 AFS Youth Assembly! Hundreds of dynamic young global citizens from over 100 countries gathered in New York City over the last three days aspiring to make a Breakthrough to a Better Future and take important actions towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We are certain that each and every one of them will go on to make an impact in their communities.

Feel the atmosphere of the AFS Youth Assembly, see all the event photos here!

Event highlights include:

An International Youth Day Celebration

We celebrated International Youth Day at the UN headquarters, convening more than 1,000 people, including Youth Assembly Delegates, dignitaries, leaders, educators, activists and champions of sustainable development. Thank you for endorsement and partnership, Permanent Mission of Malta to the UN and UN Department of Global Communications, Civil Society Unit.

We were honored to receive the New York City Mayoral Proclamation, declaring August 11 The AFS Youth Assembly Day in New York City.

The remarks of Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs, set the tone for the discussions that are to come over the next two days at The Youth Assembly: “We must place young people at the center of creating positive change in the world, and young people must have a seat at the table in any discussion about any of the major issues of our time.”

Watch the recording of the celebration here.

Program Packed with Engaging Sessions

Powerful discussions took place at The AFS Youth Assembly! More than 30 different panels and sessions explored the topics of Reducing Inequalities, Education & Employment, Climate Action, Global Trust and Global Solidarity. Find out more here.

The SDG Zone delivered by DHL featured engaging activities about SDGs and inspired our Delegates in their own action and impact journeys. The Delegates engaged with exhibitors and learned a lot about advancing their education and career prospects at the Opportunities Fair. Action & Impact Hub, and the Collaboration Hub stand out as program highlights for interactive activities that put the work of young leaders at the center.

We are especially grateful to all our program partners for their contributions, and our sponsors for providing scholarships that made the AFS Youth Assembly a more diverse and inclusive event.

Specialized Program Tracks in Partnership with Leading Institutions

A select number of participants joined different Program Packages even before the AFS Youth Assembly conference started. These enriching program tracks  offer a comprehensive theme-based experience beyond the flagship conference with a series of seminars, organization site visits and exclusive special events to facilitate learning, connection, engagement and action beyond the conference.

Program Packages focused on Climate Entrepreneurship (delivered by the New York University (NYU) School of Professional Studies, Center for Global Affairs), Changemaking (delivered by the Center for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania), Global Education (supported by AFS-USA) and International Affairs. 125 Delegates received scholarships to join these programs, thanks to the support of bp.

AFS Award for Young Global Citizens

Moemen Sobh from Egypt won the AFS Award for Active Global Citizens for his initiative Visenleer. Visenleer is a regenerative initiative in the MENA region that creates sustainable textile materials using only ocean waste. Second place winners of the AFS Award were Olamiposi Ekuma, Nigeria for Genesys Tech Hub, and Ilan Enverga for Youth For Better: an SDG-Centered Curriculum for Global Changemakers. Special recognition was given to Khaled Abdulwahed, who represents an NGO called Molham Team that provides housing for Syrian refugees. Meet the AFS Award winners here!

Recognitions for Outstanding Contributions

This year’s Outstanding Youth Delegate Award was awarded to Savannah Verhage from South Africa. We’re amazed by her excellent leadership skills, unparalleled experience and track record in youth engagement and action for sustainable development. Thank you to DHL for supporting the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award with $1,000.

Miguel Ortega, Mashkur Isa, Larissa Cevallos, Dana Al-Anzy, Khaled Abdulwahed, Delton Domah, Wang Xingkai, and  Kwamena Hammond were recognized as Outstanding Youth Assembly Ambassadors.

A Celebration of Cultures

The Closing Ceremony ended with energizing musical performances that got the Delegates on their feet dancing and excited for the CultureFest where they showcase national attires and local cultures.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the 2024 AFS Youth Assembly—stay tuned for more information!

The AFS Youth Assembly was supported by: