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If you would like to become a volunteer, please send a message to Patrice Melançon at president@afsanantonio.org

Akila Palaniswami

After having lived for 5 years in France, it’s no wonder I am here to volunteer in a French community like Alliance Française. I moved to France in 2015 for the liberty, equality & fraternity. Without saying, I enjoyed every bit of it. One of the reasons I keep speaking French is that I love this beautiful, complex language and very detailed vocabulary. I learned the language by speaking with local French people, and they helped me in every way possible achieve a B2 level of proficiency. Writing about France brings me a smile with pleasant memories of people, places etc. France gave me a new language, a new perspective and knowledge of the best food. I learned how to make chocolates there while working with the best chocolatiers. My husband and I spent last summer in Bordeaux tasting the best wines before deciding to get married. Due to COVID, I lost my job and moved to San Antonio with my husband for another new chapter in life. I cannot write every bit of my French experience here, but we could always share stories. Join me every Tuesday at 7 PM to talk about this romantic country and language in the French Meetup.

Claire Lampe

My name is Claire Lampe, I’m a native Texan with a deep love for storytelling, and co-founder of Glass Lake Media. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t letting my imagination fill my days with a curiosity that one hopes will stay forever. Growing up in a military family and living overseas, I was fortunate enough to experience many different cultures as a child, and it jump-started a passion for travel that I continue to cultivate today! After graduating from high school early, I took many years off before attending college. In those years I lived and worked in some of our nation’s most beautiful places working as a tour guide and as a Ranger for the National Forest Service. From Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, to the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, and finally down to Montana where I spent my days exploring the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Eventually, I realized that I was ready to start a new chapter of my life, and moved back to San Antonio where I met my wonderful partner, David, and started our business capturing and documenting life’s greatest moments. Visiting France as a little girl, I have memories that have stuck with me and push me to grow in my comprehension of the French language. The Alliance Française de San Antonio has been such an incredible blessing to me, and I can’t wait to see how many others gain as much as I have from this wonderful group of Francophiles!

David Gillen

Hi there! My name is David Gillen, I’m the co-founder of Glass Lake Media, I am a Texan through and through. Born and raised in San Antonio, from a young age I’ve had a passion for film and photography. However, I put my dreams and passions on hold to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps of becoming a mechanical engineer. Although I am fortunate to have gained that knowledge and experience, my desire to work in media was never extinguished. This led me to challenging myself to take a leap of faith to open up my own business in the world of production. This encompasses a broad range of media products including everything from real estate photography to commercial production. Learning French and immersing myself in the French culture has always been something that I have wanted to do, and when we were given the opportunity to be the official photographers and videographers for the Alliance Française de San Antonio, I was thrilled to be able to finally see what I had been missing!