Meet the Team

We are Francesca, Taru, Franca, Luisito, Shalese, Lena, Graciela and Jordan, and we make up the GMC. In Autumn 2022, inspired by the success of the 70th Anniversary celebration team (ACT), YFU Global Office kicked off the process of gathering volunteers interested in media to form a global media team. This team is now in full force, steaming ahead with multiple campaign ideas and looking for YOUR story to share in YFU’s social media!

Our mission is trifold:

1. Promote YFU's educational and professional impact

2. Engage with the Global YFU network

3. Promote YFU’s role and impact in the civil society

Seven YFU volunteers from around the globe make up the Global Media Committee

Francesca D'Agostino

My name is Francesca and I joined the YFU global office as the Communication and Advocacy Assistant in 2023. My tasks include supporting YFU’s internal and external communication, support advocacy and fundraising activities and support the implementation of the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES). I have been an exchange student in Australia. I value working at YFU because I believe that intercultural learning leads to the development of a set of attitudes and skills that help young people to understand themselves and others to be able to act for social transformation. I am really excited to be part of the GMC and I believe in spreading the YFU Spirit as much as possible!

Graciela Galban

My name is Graciela Galban (my friends call me Grace) and I'm from Venezuela. On 2014 I went in an exchange year to Switzerland with YFU. The first time I heard about YFU was from my dad, he went to the U.S just when he finished high school, then years later so did my sister. So when it was my turn I chose Switzerland (mainly because of the chocolate) there I met some of the most awesome people from all around the world, including my incredible host family. I also lived wonderful adventures getting lost all around the Alps and eating delicious food. I'm excited to form part of the GMC, it's amazing to be able to give back and help more people to know about YFU and how it changes lives every day. It's really nice to meet you all! I hope you share your stories and join this beautiful community.

Franca Balster

My name is Franca, and I am 24 years old. Born in Germany, I am currently doing a traineeship with the EU in Hong Kong. Thanks to YFU, I had the privilege of doing a student exchange in Tennessee, USA in 2013/2014. My positive experience during this time and also that of my family at home, who took in a host student from Thailand during this time, motivated my family and myself to become active in the YFU host family support. By now getting involved in YFU’s GMC, I am looking forward to an exciting environment of connecting with other YFU volunteers from all over the world, combining our creativity and skills to promote YFU's core philosophy of bringing people from around the world closer together. YFU thrives on its long history, diversity of experience and openness, but most importantly, on the commitment of its community, whether it be former exchange students, host families or other volunteers who support YFU. For me, it is precisely this YFU community in its interconnectedness that embodies an uplifting approach to contemporary challenges and future vision that I believe to be particularly valuable in times when young people, in particular, feel uncertain. That's why I'm very much looking forward to hearing from all of you in the global YFU community as you share your stories with us.

Shalese Mosley

Hi Global YFU Community! My name is Shalese, and I am a YFU Global Media Committee member and chapter USA volunteer, from and based in the United States. Having always valued a more interconnected world, I connected with YFU in order to support this work: first as an Area Rep, then Study Abroad interviewer, and now also as a Local Coordinator. As messaging changes and yet stays the same around the world, I am looking forward to learning more about international marketing, especially as a Global MBA candidate. From the way travel changes one’s life to the rippling effects relationships can have across borders, I am honored to be part of the team working to promote YFU’s universal message. Cheers to YFU Spirit!

Jordan Bonnell

I’m Jordan Bonnell. I’m originally from outside Philadelphia, PA, USA but currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. I first got involved with YFU in 2014/2015 as a host sister. I was a host sister again in 2016/2017 which is also when I started volunteering with YFU and have just never stopped volunteering. I’ve held many roles with YFU while in the US including study abroad interviewer, area representative, and a member of the Anniversary Celebratory Team’s social media and organizational matters teams. During this time, I graduated from university with a bachelor’s in international business and culture. I recently moved to New Zealand where I currently work as a receptionist administrator for the University of Auckland and volunteer for YFU Australia/New Zealand wherever needed. I’m very excited to get to know other YFU volunteers and create engaging campaigns while being apart of the Global Media Committee. My wish for YFU is that more people continue to get involved and create those connections that all of us that have the “YFU spirit” never stop talking about.

Taru Granholm

Hi! I'm Taru from Finland. My path in YFU started back in 2014 when I went on exchange to Germany, after which I have volunteered in YFU Finland and last year completed an ESC internship at YFU Global Office in Brussels. My internship was all about communications and advocacy, and one of the most exciting things during that year was gathering together this amazing Media Committee team and working together on creating content for the whole YFU community! I hope that through the important work of this committee we get to elevate the YFU Spirit and engage with the whole community, and give everyone a chance to share their YFU stories!

Lena Bedenk

Hey, my name is Lena and I'm from Germany and I'm currently living in Munich, where I'm working in the motorsports industry while studying business and computer science. I did a music exchange year in Hungary in 2019/20 and even though I was part of the Corona year, I have been volunteering ever since. I was part of the buddy program, the diversity project and I organize the follow-up meetings for our exchange students. I ended up in the media because I am a TikTok producer for our YFU account, and I am really excited to be a part of the GMC. I hope we can spread the message, purpose and spirit of YFU worldwide and give a voice to everyone on our platforms. Through YFU, my life has been changed - to something extremely special. People enrich me and I learn more every day. I have been given a lot of opportunities and no matter if volunteer, host family ,etc. - everyone contributes their part. This will be another share to it. I hope to meet great people from around the world, hear great stories and adventures, and that we all have a great time together. So tell us about yourself - each and every one of you is special and I would love to hear more about you.

Luisito Siripaipran

Hey everyone, Luisito in service! My name is Nutthanun Siripaipran, and I usually go by Luisito or Luigi as my preferred name(s). I’m 19 years old. I’m originally from the city of Bangkok, Thailand. I did my exchange year in Lujan, Argentina in the academic year 2019/2020 with YFU and I had the best 7 months (because of the pandemic) of my life there! I am currently living in Budapest, Hungary, pursuing my bachelor’s degree in International Relations. I’m totally excited about the GMC, l love making beautiful infographics and visualizations, and I’m ready to make it for the YFU Global office. I’m looking forward to being a part of the GMC and spreading the spirit of YFU!

Contact us:


Feel like sharing some of your YFU stories? See what social media campaigns are going on and what the Committee is gathering material for!