Letter from the President March 2022

Spring is here!

It’s beginning to look like spring here in the Washington, DC area. And that means it’s time for AAFSW scholarships and awards!

AAFSW is proud to identify some key services — we call them Community Pillars — which are universally recognized by our members posted across the globe.  AAFSW’s Community Pillars include:  Art and BookFair, Scholarships, the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) and Foreign-Born Spouse Group. I want to highlight two of these community pillars in this month’s Global Link.

Scholarships: AAFSW has a long history of supporting need-based scholarships in cooperation with AFSA. In 2013, AAFSW initiated its own merit-based scholarships, including the Judy Felt Memorial Scholarship for an outstanding volunteer, and the Twice Exceptional Scholarship for an outstanding student with challenging circumstances. AAFSW is accepting scholarship applications until April 15.  Please go here for important application information.

SOSA: Since 1990, AAFSW has proudly administered the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA). SOSA recognizes the many U.S. foreign affairs employees and family members abroad who engage in noteworthy – and newsworthy – volunteer efforts. Far from the “tea and crumpets” stereotype of diplomacy, these Foreign Service officers and family members are out there showing the world the best of the American spirit of volunteerism. The SOSA Awards recognize their efforts while in turn inspiring others to follow their example.  We all know an outstanding volunteer at post – please take a moment to nominate that person for this exceptional award!  The deadline to submit nominations is April 29.  Specific information about eligibility and criteria can be found in ALDAC cable 22 STATE 9450, the article about 2022 SOSA nominations, or visit the page on our website, here.

In addition, AAFSW offers another award called the Champion for Career Enhancement for EFMs.  The AAFSW “Champions of Career Enhancement for Eligible Family Members” Award (CCE-EFM) was developed by AAFSW’s EFM Employment Committee to recognize and incentivize those who go above and beyond their job descriptions and routine daily activities to promote the cause of employment and career development for Foreign Service family members.

PLEASE SHARE this information to your CLOs, friends and colleagues!  If you have any questions, you can always email AAFSW at office@aafsw.org.

Lara Center, AAFSW President