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Spring Greetings from AAFSW! 

Dear AAFSW Members and Friends,

As the days lengthen and blossoms emerge, we extend warm Spring greetings to you all. This season symbolizes renewal, growth, and hope—a time to embrace fresh opportunities and connect with our community.

I am thrilled to announce a significant new partnership with the esteemed National Defense University (NDU). This collaboration is not just a mere association but a testament to the importance and value we place on fostering meaningful connections and support within our community.

NDU’s International Student Management Office (ISMO) manages a sponsor program to support and assist International Fellows (IFs) studying at NDU. These officers attend various NDU colleges, including the National War College (NWC), the Eisenhower School (ES), the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), or the College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) in Washington, D.C., as well as the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, Virginia. The program aims to establish meaningful relationships between sponsors and IFs, offering unique international interactions. Sponsors provide valuable community and support as IFs transition to a new country and spend a year at NDU. The program has proven beneficial, allowing Fellows and their families to experience American culture and fostering lasting relationships. 
On April 4, 2024, I met with Ambassador Young’s NDU Sponsor Program team on the NDU campus to explore avenues for collaboration. Melanie Mcfeeters, our new Evacuation Chair, will help coordinate this partnership for AAFSW. We are looking for people who have lived in America and can give the students an idea of daily life here. The sponsor program involves making meaningful connections and participating in NDU-sponsored festivals and events. There is an International Fellow Luncheon in early Spring, to which everyone at NDU, their families, and sponsors are invited. Stay tuned for further developments and exciting opportunities through this program. Your engagement and participation are vital to its success!

Director General Ambassador Bernicat invited AASFW to her office in May to learn more about our organization. During this discussion, we plan to address the following topics: Gratitude for 24 STATE 26038 Separation and Divorce: Responsibilities and Resources, released on March 13, 2024. Including SOSA Awards in OPFs and the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) in eligible recipients’ Official Personnel Files (OPFs). EFM Museum Exhibit at National Museum of American Diplomacy (NMAD): including an exhibit at the National Museum of American Diplomacy (NMAD) that highlights the significant contributions of EFM/SOSA awardees. Enhanced Training Access for EFMs/MOH: Improved communication channels to empower more spouses/partners to access valuable training opportunities.

We look forward to honoring exceptional students as applications for AAFSW’s Merit Scholarships and Twice Exceptional Merit Scholarship are now open. Thank you to John K. Naland for inviting AAFSW to participate in the Foreign Service Youth Foundation’s Youth Awards Ceremony, which will be on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, in the Marshall Center. Please learn more at AAFSW’s Annual Youth Merit Scholarships here.

We look forward to the upcoming Foreign Affairs Day, May 3, 2024, a day of celebration and recognition for our community’s achievements!

Thank you for being so supportive, as always,