The President's Award is given each year to an Ayusa Regional Director who has shown an outstanding commitment to excellence and a deep passion for cultural exchange. Jody Sauls has worked with Ayusa since 2002. In her first year with Ayusa, she immediately stood out as she committed herself to help a FLEX student battle cancer. She visited her in the hospital daily and supported her through treatment. Jody then arranged for the student's natural parents to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while the student was in the hospital. Eight years later, Jody continues to organize community service activities (including an international meal and day of volunteering) at the Ronald McDonald House with her current Ayusa exchange students.
Teresa Mann, Jody's Regional Director, considers her to be invaluable to her region. There have been a few occasions this year when Teresa has had to call on Jody to assist in managing the Mid-Atlantic region and Jody has been ready and willing each time. Jody consistently fills the role of staff trainer in the region and leads the group in team-building activities, bringing the remote group closer together and helping Teresa to build a solid team in the region. As a part of staff training, Jody also helps make calls to schools and leads, both in her area and in other parts of the region as needed. In 2009, she even placed four students in another state (North Carolina)! She has also done extensive work with private schools to obtain reduced or waived tuition for Ayusa students.
Jody has also been a host family and makes a scrapbook each year for the students that she hosts. She loves her students and this work. Jody is an outstanding member of the Ayusa family and we are thrilled to recognize her efforts with the 2009 President's Award!
Thank you, Jody—and congratulations on this great honor!