YES Programs


Alumni Resources

The YES Alumni Program wishes to engage YES alumni in building a worldwide YES community to continue building bridges as citizens around the world. The resources offered aim to provide tools to help YES alumni build these bridges and cultivate their leadership skills.


Community Health Powerpoint

Presentation powerpoint on how establish a community health project by Joyce Kilikpo Jarwalo.


Project Sustainability Powerpoint

Powerpoint on increasing the sustainability of project by Simona Ristovska.


Project Management Powerpoint

Powerpoint on the three stages of project management by Hassan Saeed.


Partnerships Powerpoint

Powerpoint on best practices for building partnerships by Dima Helou.


Evaluation Process Example Template

Example template for the evaluation process of the Water School project by Marouane Smaili.


Monitoring and Evaluation Presentation

Powerpoint presentation on monitoring and evaluation projects by Dr. Agha Ajmal


My Experience with Evaluation Presentation

Powerpoint presentation on two examples of evaluation in service projects by Marouane Smaili.


Career Development Presentation

Powerpoint presentation on how to be a competitive candidate in the job market by Jimi Tewe. 



Global Youth Service Day 2018 Webinar

Mohammed Kiawu

Emily McGlone
United States

YES Global Youth Service Day Webinar

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and encourages young people around the world to make a positive global impact by giving their time and efforts to improve their communities. To help YES alumni prepare for GYSD, YES programs hosted a webinar on March 29 at 9AM EDT that explored strategies to organize and carry out a GYSD project, specifically one that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). 

The webinar reviewed the SDGs and provided strategies on how to expand the impact and sustainability of GYSD projects by thinking within the SDG context. Special guest speakers, Emilie McGlone and Mohammed Kiawu, shared their work and projects to highlight the direct impact of youth-driven service in achieving the SDGs. Webinar participants gained the skills to link service projects to the UN SDGs and strengthened the impact and sustainability of their GYSD projects. 

To read more about GYSD please visit the Youth Service Association website, and consider registering your GYSD project.

GYSD is the largest service event in the world!

GYSD Webinar Guest Speaker

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Mohammed B. Kiawu is a YES alumnus (YES 2010-2011, Liberia, hosted by YFU in Ann Arbor, MI) who is passionate about the SDGs and community service. Mohammed has attended numerous conferences, workshops, and trainings that have helped shape him to be the community mobilizer that he is today. The most recent training that Mohammed attended was the YES SDG 2030 Summit for West Africa in Accra, Ghana. After the summit Mohammed returned to Liberia and co-hosted a capacity building workshop on the SDGs for YES alumni across Liberia. Mohammed is currently volunteering with a local organization called Sustainable Development Solutions Network-Youth, a youth initiative that mobilizes global expertise around the SDGs. Mohammed is also working on a Civic Education Program for rural women and girls called “Promoting Gender Equality,” which aims to train fifty females with the leadership skills and knowledge to participate in the governance of their communities.

Emilie Mc Glone Pic Bw

Emilie McGlone has been working with Peace Boat since 2004 and currently is the United Nations liaison and Director of the New York-based office of Peace Boat US, a non-profit organization working to promote peace, sustainable development and respect for the environment through educational programs organized onboard the Peace Boat, a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages. Peace Boat holds Special Consultative Status with the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations and works in partnership with UN representatives, Nobel Peace Laureates and community leaders from around the world to create opportunities for international cooperation focused on environmental sustainability, cultural awareness and peace education. Emilie works to foster youth education and develops specific programs to learn about important global issues onboard the Peace Boat. 


YES 15th Anniversary Webinar

Natalie Rehberger

Jeni St John
United States

Sleiman Sleiman

YES 15th Anniversary Webinar

YES is celebrating its 15th Anniversary! To kick off the celebration the YES program hosted a webinar on January 31, 2018. The webinar shared information on the various events that will be taking place throughout the year and opportunities for the YES community to participate no matter where they are in the world. Webinar participants listened to YES alumni from the first generation of YES to learn about the impact of the program over the past 15 years.

This webinar was open to all YES and YES Abroad alumni as well as on-program students. 

Natalie Profile 2

Natalie Rehberger is driven by her desire to increase cross-cultural understanding throughout the world, one human connection at a time. She is a 2012 YES Abroad alumna to Indonesia which led her to pursue a BA in Business and International Studies with a focus on Asia Studies from the Evergreen State College. While living in India, she was an International Marketing intern for an Indian tech company. Her first job after college was as the head of an editorial department at a Chinese company overseeing writers from around the world. Natalie proceeded to create a Chinese study abroad program under the guidance of a Chinese study abroad company, which taught her invaluable cross-cultural skills and exposed her to the world of international education as a career path. She currently lives in New York City as a Participant Support Specialist at AFS-USA and plans to get her MA in International Education to further her career at AFS and later for the Department of State where she wants to further cross-cultural understanding through encouraging international education as a Foreign Service Officer.

Sleiman Sleiman

Sleiman Sleiman participated in the first cohort of the YES program in Lebanon (YES '04) and was placed by ASSE in Toledo, Ohio. Upon finishing high school in Lebanon, he returned to the U.S. where he studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Toledo, staying connected with his host community and family. He later returned to Lebanon to lead the technical department at Advanced Plastic Industries, a plastic piping company, while finishing a Master's in Engineering at the American University of Beirut. Sleiman is currently pursuing his MBA at McGill University in Montreal. Sleiman is a founding member of Lebanon's YES Alumni Chapter and remains involved in a mentoring and advisory capacity. 

Don't forget to use hashtag #KLYES15 on social media to show us how you'll be celebrating! 


2018 Alumni Grants Webinar

Jeni St John
United States

2018 Alumni Grants-Due February 15!

2018 is going to be an exciting year for the YES program – it’s the YES 15th Anniversary! 2018 will also usher in a new cycle of YES Alumni Grants. Want to commemorate the 15th anniversary in the most impactful way possible? Why not apply for a YES Alumni Grant to start a project in your community that you are passionate about? From an alumni mentoring program or holding a workshop on countering violent extremism in your community, the possibilities to make a difference through a YES Alumni Grant are endless. 

The 2018 application opened on December 15, and the deadline is February 15. A recording of the webinar on the grants application process can be found here and the online application can be found here.

Need more inspiration for grant project idea? Read on to learn about some of the amazing projects alumni did in the 2016-17 grant year. 

Priya Parkash, (YES ’15) Pakistan, hosted by AFS in Camarillo, CA, received grant funding to conduct Better Understanding for a Better World (BUBW) Pakistan, an interfaith dialogue event in Karachi (photo above). Recognizing that interfaith dialogue is a delicate area to address in Pakistan, Priya became excited when she attended BUBW in the U.S. to find an innovative approach to introduce the topic in her home country. Thirty-five YES alumni participants attended the BUBW workshop which utilized a training of trainers’ model. The workshop included a panel discussion, leadership sessions, expert speakers, and visits to various houses of worship.


Marklyn Fortune, (YES ’11) Liberia, hosted by AFS in Florence, SC, received grant funding to conduct Promoting Environmental Education and Understanding Climate ChangeThe project aimed to educate and discourage environmental degradation in rural communities in Liberia caused by illegal logging of trees and harmful farming methods. Marklyn and the alumni team conducted an environmental education series that taught 25 students from various high schools about environmental awareness. Activities included the planting of 200 trees across several communities.


Nendi Solomon Lukolm, (YES ’06) Nigeria, hosted by IRIS in Washington County, IA, received grant funding to conduct Millenium Volunteers Peace Camp in his city of Jos in Plateau State. Plateau State has been experiencing religious violence and social tensions, driving large numbers of orphans and internally displaced persons to refugee camps. The Millennium project was designed to introduce youth to volunteerism and community service, as well as leadership skills. The grant allowed 30 participants between the ages 15 to 20 to attend the camp. The participants engaged in discussion about organizing community projects, fundraising, skills acquisition, self-expression, community motivation, volunteerism, peacebuilding, and conflict management.

Maxim Jordan Dongmo Ymelong, (YES ’14) Cameroon, hosted by PAX in Salt Lake City, UT, received grant funding to conduct English Language and Culture Promotion Program (ELCPP). ELCPP was a six-month program of weekly English and computer science classes for 150 students from a local underserved primary school in Lefeh-Bafou. The alumnus established a small library at the school and volunteered as an English teacher. He also held a conference at the school to highlight the importance of English and discuss social issues such as the environment, civic education, and volunteering.


Hassani Masanga, (YES ’09) Tanzania, hosted by IRIS in Cedar Rapids, IA, received grant funding to conduct Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Education for Secondary School Students. The initiative recruited 17 medical students and three teachers as educators providing sexual and reproductive health and rights education to 200 mostly female secondary school students in grades 9 to 11 in Tanga, an underserved region on the Kenyan border. During a two-day seminar, students were taught reproductive health and rights focusing on topics including puberty, menstrual hygiene, sex and sexuality, teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexual transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence.



Mustahsin Islam, (YES ’08), Bangladesh, hosted by YFU in Seattle, WA, received grant funding to conduct 3.5 Billion Reasons, a leadership training program for young urban and rural women. 3.5 Billion Reasons sought to close the gap of education and leadership opportunities between urban and rural female students in Bangladesh by training female students and equipping them with tools to pursue higher education. The project organized a workshop in Dhaka for 18 female high school students, with one urban and one rural student paired together. Each pair was assigned a mentor, who worked with the two high schools girls over a three-month period. In the second phase of the project, mentees implemented projects in their own communities to bring about awareness of sexual harassment and child marriage, introduce educational opportunities for women and girls, and create clubs at their schools and institutions.


Malsore Jusufi, (YES ’15) Kosovo, hosted by American Councils for International Education in St. Louis, MO, received grant funding to conduct a Spelling  Bee at her former middle school in her hometown of Podujeve. Malsore worked with 26 students for three weeks to build their English vocabulary prior to the spelling bee. Twelve students were selected to participate in the spelling bee, which was held in front of an audience of 100 family members, students, and school faculty and staff. The first place winner was invited to participate in the second annual National Kosovo English Spelling Bee, which is organized by Kosovo Peace Corps volunteers and took place in Prishtina in May 2017. 

The YES Alumni Grants program is available to all YES and YES Abroad alumni to enable them to contribute to the social, economic, and civic development of their countries, and aims to support community service activities and events that promote civic participation in the following areas: climate change, conflict resolution, education, entrepreneurship, environment, interfaith and strategic dialogues, micro-economic development, professional development, promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities, promotion of English language and American culture, public health, sustainable energy, teaching programs, and women’s and girls’ empowerment. 


A STRONGER COMMUNITY: Engaging YES Alumni and Students with Disabilities

Susan Sygall
United States

Olivia Hardin
United States

Celine Lin

A Stronger Community - Engaging YES Alumni and Students with Disabilities

In preparation of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, A STRONGER COMMUNITY - Engaging YES Alumni and Students with Disabilities (YES Alumni Webinar) focused on helping the YES community create a more inclusive, engaging experience for students and alumni with disabilities. Attendees joined the webinar on Thursday, November 30 at 9AM EDT to:

  • Motivate YES and YES Abroad alumni with disabilities to participate in projects and activities in their communities. 
  •  Increase knowledge about organizing inclusive volunteer projects. 

This webinar was also equipped with tools and opportunities to help students and alumni be as active as possible in their communities.

This webinar was open to all YES and YES Abroad alumni as well as on-program students. 

If you missed the webinar, you can still learn more about increasing inclusivity for all by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube channel and Vimeo!

Meet The Panel: 

Susan Sygall, CEO and Co-founder of MIUSA

As CEO and co-founder of Mobility International USA, Susan is an internationally recognized expert in the area of international educational exchange and leadership programs for persons with disabilities. Susan, a wheelchair rider, has had a personal and professional commitment to disability rights and women's issues for more than 30 years. She has co-authored numerous publications in the area of international exchange and international development opportunities for persons with disabilities and co-produced several award winning videos. Susan has lectured throughout the world on a variety of topics related to inclusive development, international exchange and disability rights. 

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Olivia Hardin, Program Specialist for MIUSA 

Olivia has worked in the field of international education for over ten years. At MIUSA, her primary responsibilities include providing technical assistance to support students with disabilities on U.S. Department of State exchange programs and being part of the core team that hosts exchange students with disabilities for disability-related orientations in Eugene, OR. Olivia’s articles have appeared in many publications such as EducationUSA Connections and Global Study Magazine.


Celine Lean Yew Lin (YES 2013-2014, Malaysia, hosted by AFS in Nashville, TN) a visually impaired YES alumna, launched The Gift of Sight Community Project to produce holistic and accessible educational materials for students at the Setapak Special School for the Blind in Kuala Lumpur and to raise awareness about persons with disabilities. Celine is also committed to strengthening her alumni community by volunteering at YES Alumni Malaysia and participating in several alumni projects.


YES SHE CAN: Projects for the Empowerment of Girls and Women

Tasneem Kibria


YES SHE CAN: Projects for the Empowerment of Girls and Women Webinar

Many YES alumni are joining the movement to empower girls and women in communities around the world. In celebration of International Day of the Girl, the YES Alumni YES SHE CAN: Projects for the Empowerment of Girls and Women webinar effectively organized projects and activities pertaining to the advancement of girls around the globe, gave insight into inspirational projects and activities YES alumni have accomplished in the past, and informed the YES community about United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

This webinar was open to all YES and YES Abroad alumni as well as on-program students. 

If you missed the webinar, you can still be inspired to empower women and girls in your community by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube channel and Vimeo!

Tasneem Kibria Orpa

Meet The Panel: 

Tasneem Kibria (YES 2013-2014, Bangladesh, hosted by AYUSA in Houston, TX) is the treasurer of YES Alumni Bangladesh and the former 'Shadow' Ambassador for Her Excellency, Marcia Bernicat, to promote young women's leadership, an initiative by the Dutch Ambassador of Bangladesh. As a member of YES Alumni Bangladesh, Tasneem has helped organize and implement alumni projects for the advancement of girls such as, "3.5 Billion Reasons" and "Self Defense 101".

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Portia Akua Yeboaa (YES '17) is the founder of the "Red Elephant Project" which provides feminine hygiene supplies to girls in Ghana. As part of this much-needed project in her community, Portia translates information pertaining to menstruation in her native language in order for girls to gain education pertaining to this topic. Portia also helps create sanitary kits for girls which includes reusable sanitary pads and a guidebook to educate girls about menstruation. 


Sports for Development and Peace

Rachel Markowitz

Geraldine Go-Bernardo

Nasir Ahmad

Sports for Development and Peace - YES Alumni Webinar

What if you could foster peace, promote mutual understanding, and empower a community through a game of football or ultimate frisbee?

Guess what?....You can!

Sports are universal bridges to overcome differences in culture and develop cross-cultural communication. The YES Alumni Sports for Development and Peace webinar took place on Tuesday, July 11 at 9AM EDT to educate the alumni community about projects and activities that use sports to promote development and peace. Experts in the field provided knowledge, tools, and resources for all attendees. Alumni, on-program students, and organizations learned how to effectively utilize sports to influence change in their communities.

This webinar was open to all YES and YES Abroad alumni as well as on-program students. 

If you missed the webinar, you can still be inspired to utilize sports to make a positive change in your community by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube channel and Vimeo! You can also watch it again on Facebook Live

Meet The Panel: 

Rachel Markowitz, YES Senior Program Officer at AMIDEAST

Originally from Kansas, Rachel spent five years in Morocco where she conducted research as a Fulbright Scholar and worked in international education. At the University of Texas at Austin, Rachel earned a Master’s in Global Policy Studies and focused on international development and conflict. Rachel’s thesis was on sports for development and peace based on her experiences facilitating sports programs in Morocco, Rwanda, and Israel/Palestine. She now serves as the YES Senior Program Officer at AMIDEAST in Washington, DC. Her favorite sport is Ultimate and she plays on a competitive women’s club team called Suffrage.

Geraldine “Dina” Go-Bernardo holds a B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of the Philippines and a Master’s Degree in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management (A.I.M). A recipient of various training seminars from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, International Labor Organization and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dina became the first Filipina, in 2012, to be accepted into the inaugural class of the Global Sports Mentoring Program for emerging women sports leaders -- under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State and espnW. 

Nasir Adu Ahmad (YES '09) is the President of the YES Ghana Alumni Association, a board member of AFS Ghana, and organizer of the YES Peace Games in Ghana. Nasir executed the YES Peace Games in order to promote an atmosphere of peace in his community and to empower youth to be agents of change in their communities.


Cross-Country Collaboration

Hela Nafti

Shebnem Niazi

Jennifer Russell
United States

Cross Country Collaboration - YES Alumni Webinar

Every day YES alumni work together to implement sustainable projects impacting their communities. But what if alumni wanted to support a project organized by alumni in another country? Is this possible?...YES! There are so many ways YES alumni can support their peers all over the globe and many of them found out how on the Cross-Country Collaboration webinar! 

The Cross-Country Collaboration webinar on Thursday, June 1 at 9AM EDT focused on how to support the projects of other alumni in YES countries around the globe. The panel of speakers included Jennifer Russell, Director of Education at iEARN-USA, Héla Nafti, TEARN Country Coordinator, and Shebnem Niazi,YES 2013-2014 and YES Alumni Coordinator of Bulgaria. The speakers provided tips for remote participation in projects happening in other YES countries and tools to use to collaborate with alumni from other countries. 

If you missed the webinar, you can still learn be inspired to engage in cross country collaboration by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube channel and Vimeo!

Meet the Panel

Jennifer Russell, Director of Education at iEARN-USA

As Director of Education, Jennifer provides expertise, leadership, and coordination in the development and promotion of iEARN-USA's virtual exchange program strategies, tools, and network. In this role, she designs projects, resources, trainings, and online courses for teachers and youth to increase their technology and cross-cultural collaboration skills. Prior to joining iEARN-USA, Jennifer was a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania and China where she was a teacher trainer and taught English as a foreign language at the primary and secondary level. 

Héla Nafti, TEARN Country Coordinator

Héla Nafti is the Country Coordinator for TEARN, iEARN Tunisia, and is also the Senior Inspector for English Language Teaching in Tunis, Tunisia. She trains teachers and works for the development and implementation of the educational reform in Tunisia. She has been the iEARN Country Coordinator in Tunisia since 2004 and formally launched TEARN as an association in 2011. She has trained many teachers across the country in online project-based learning and leads citizenship activities for teachers and youth, focusing on improving understanding between communities and empowering youth with 21st Century skills to help them build a better world. 

Shebnem Niazi, YES 2013-2014 and YES Alumni Coordinator of Bulgaria

After returning from her YES exchange year in the U.S., Shebnem's passion to understand the multifaceted interconnectedness among nation-states, international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and ethnic, cultural, and religious groups never faded away. Shebnem joined the members of the YES Alumni Association in Bulgaria and participated in and implemented several projects including the renovation of public spaces, social awareness campaigns, and donation drives. Shebnem decided to broaden her worldview and the scope of her volunteering by teaching English at the Sri Udom orphanage in rural Thailand. Being a part of a group of people who work together cooperatively, communicating and coordinating openly to achieve a shared goal, made Shebnem realize the importance of cross-country collaboration. As Alumni Coordinator, inspired by the Interfaith Harmony Workshop (IHW), Shebi initiated the Letters of Hope for Refugees project. The campaign's goal was to provide messages of support and solidarity from around the world to asylum seekers in Bulgaria. The project ended up having over 1,200 participants from 5 continents and 18 countries. Currently Shebnem is in her gap year. Starting in the fall, she will be attending the New York University in Abu Dhabi where she plans to pursue a degree in Social Research and Public Policy.


GYSD 2017!

Yutthakrit Chalermthai

YES Alumni Webinar - GYSD 2017!

From brainstorming to budgeting, planning a Global Youth Service Day project can be challenging sometimes. That's why we organized the YES Alumni webinar for GYSD on Thursday, March 30, 2017. The webinar was a dynamic, interactive experience that fused together GYSD webinars from the past. It was a complete mashup that focused on the purpose of GYSD, budgeting, and the actual steps for planning a successful GYSD project. The webinar prepared the greater YES community for GYSD weekend in April 2017 and served as a tool for alumni to explore community service ideas and to start their own service projects. Both YES alumni and on-program students were encouraged to attend.

The special guest presenter was YES alumnus, Yutthakrit Chalermthai (YES 2008-2009, Thailand, hosted by AFS in Chesaning, MI). Yutthakrit is the founder and the first President of the YES Thai Alumni Association. After fulfilling his cultural exchange year in the U.S., Yutthakrit initiated and implemented more than 10 community service projects! He also started a social enterprise project called "Mushroom for Much More" which involves cultivating and selling mushrooms in order to financially support families living in poverty. During the webinar, Yutthakrit offered participants strategies, tools, & tips for starting their own GYSD projects.

If you missed the webinar, you can still learn how to plan and implement your GYSD project by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube channel or Vimeo!

Don't forget to register your project with Youth Service America here!


Webinar: Community Health

Joyce Kilikpo Jarwalo

Ashfaq Hussain

YES Alumni Webinar: Community Health

The YES Alumni Community Health webinar took place on July 25, 2016, and featured Joyce Kilikpo Jarwolo and YES alumnus Ashfaq Hussain. Joyce is the Founder and Executive Director of Public Health Initiative Liberia (PHIL), a national public health organization that works to improve and increase access to quality health care for Liberians. PHIL works with communities to educate and empower them to protect themselves and their families, and played a major role in helping Liberia manage the Ebola crisis. In addition to starting PHIL, Joyce was also a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, which is a fellowship started by Barack Obama for young African leaders. She has also worked in many capacities within community health, including as the Senior Malaria Officer and Health Coordinator at the Liberian Red Cross and the Health Delegate (advisor) at the Norwegian Red Cross in Haiti.

During the webinar, Joyce used her vast experience in community health to give alumni ideas for different ways they can help their communities. In addition to that, YES alumnus Ashfaq Hussain (YES 2014-2015, hosted by PAX in Blair, WI) shared about the three community health projects this year. Since returning home from the U.S. in 2015, Ashfaq has worked with other YES alumni and medical professionals to bring health services to people living in rural Pakistan. During each of the three Medical Camps he has implemented, Ashfaq and his team gave free check-ups to people who live in remote areas and generally do not receive health care. After their check-ups, the patients who needed it also received free medicine from the Medical Camp team. Ashfaq gave step-by-step instructions on how he organized and ran the camps so that other alumni can organize similar projects in their home communities.

Even if you missed the webinar, you can still learn from this expert panel by watching the recording on YouTube or Vimeo. You can also see their presentations on the YES Alumni Resources page!


Global Youth Service Day Panel Discussion

Simona Ristovska

Hassan Saeed

Dima Helou
West Bank

YES Alumni Webinar: GYSD Panel

Global Youth Service Day is coming up soon! Do you already know what community service you will do for GYSD from April 15-17? If you are still looking for new and exciting project ideas, or if you have a project in mind but want to know how to make it more successful, clear your calendar for the next YES alumni webinar!

On April 1, 2016, a panel of alumni, featuring Simona Ristovska, Hassan Saeed, and Dima Helou will each share top Global Youth Service Day projects from their respective alumni associations. Not only will they share project ideas, but each panelist will also discuss a key to success from his/her project. Join the webinar to hear their tips on brainstorming project ideas, developing partnerships, and creating sustainable projects!

See you on April 1 at 10am EST! (Don't miss the event because of the time difference, check what time it will be in your community!)  

Meet the Panel

Simona Ristovska, YES 2009-2010, Macedonia, hosted by World Link in Washington, Iowa

After returning from the YES program, Simona became the YES Alumni Coordinator in Macedonia. During her 4 years in this position, she organized over 50 alumni projects, and has also worked closely with the alumni to mentor them on how to start their own projects. She earned a bachelor's degree in Economics with a focus on Financial Management. When asked about volunteering, she said, "Our YES community tries to engage as many people as we can in our projects, not just alumni. Our goal each year is to have as many projects as possible, especially for GYSD."

Hassan Saeed, YES 2008-2009, Pakistan, hosted by ASSE in Topeka, KS

Since returning to Pakistan in 2009, Hassan has been engaged in many community service projects, and has especially focused on developing capacity buillding for students and teachers through social media activism. Hassan completed his Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences at the Institute of Management Sciences in Peshawar, and has had the opportunity to grow professionally by attending a number of global trainings, including the Training of Trainers Workshop in Indonesia, International Conference and Youth Summit in Qatar, YES Alumni Leadership Training in Jordan, and Team Leader for National Citizen Service Program in England. He has worked as a Program Officer for the Society for International Education for the past 4 years, and was named one of the 44 most influential youth in the world in 2013 by Youth Leader Magazine and UNESCO. He is also part of the organizing team for the Madina Leadership Program, which will take place in Turkey in June 2016. Hassan loves to initiate and engage in community service activities and is passionate about helping his fellow alumni develop.

Dima Helou, YES 2013-2014, West Bank, hosted by AYA in Houston, TX

In 2014, after completing her YES year, Dima returned to Palestine to finish her senior year of high school, and got involved with doing community service with her YES Alumni Association. She is currently majoring in International Business at the Lebanese American University in Lebanon, and has applied for the Tomorrow's Leaders Scholarship through the MEPI Program. In addition to that, Dima is the Vice President of the Public Relations Committee of the AIESEC, which is the largest youth-run organization in the world.



Samiur Rahman

YES Alumni Webinar: Crowdfunding

Do you wish you had more funding for your community service projects? Do you have ideas for volunteering projects that you have never been able to implement because you do not have enough financial capital? The YES alumni webinar on February 12, 2016 addressed these issues by teaching alumni how to raise money through a new source: crowdfunding! The webinar also provided step-by-step instructions on how to start a crowdfunding campaign and shared best practices for successful campaigns!

YES '14 alumnus Samiur Rahman from Bangladesh led the webinar and shared his crowdfunding expertise. After Samiur returned from Rush Springs, OK, where he was hosted by CIEE, he began volunteering with the YES Alumni Association in Bangladesh. However, when the association wanted to help the children at the Shongraish Shishu Poribar Orphanage celebrate Ramadan in 2014, they realized they needed to more money in order to make the event as impactful as possible. Seeing this, Samiur began looking into alternative funding options, which is how he discovered crowdfuning. He created a crowdfunding campaign for the project, and in the end, was able to raise $1500 USD for the orphans!

Even if you missed the webinar, you can still learn all of his tips by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube and Vimeo channels!



Presentation Skills 101

Dawoud Zahran
West Bank

YES Webinar: Presentation Skills 101

People consistently rank public speaking as one of their top phobias, so YES alumnus Dawoud Zahran thought it would be helpful to offer a webinar training on how to give a great presentation. 

Dawoud, a YES 2011-2012 alumnus from West Bank, led the webinar on November 12, just in time for International Education Week 2015! As a matter of fact, Dawoud himself learned how to give presentations during his exchange year, but since then, he has begun training others in public speaking and presenting. He has participated in leadership and development workshops around the world, including ISFIT and ActionAid, and has served as Palestine's YES Alumni Project Coordinator. He is currently a Research Fellow at King's College in London, working with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Presentation Skills 101 webinar was attended by current YES and YES Abroad students, as well as alumni of both programs. Everyone agreed that the strategies Dawoud gave for how to structure a presentation, prepare for speaking in public, and keep an audience engaged were extremely helpful. As an added bonus, YES alumni who attended the webinar shared their own tips for how to give a quality presentation in the chat box!

If you missed the webinar, you can watch a recording of it on YouTube or Vimeo!


LinkedIn for YES Alumni Jobseekers

Abeer D. Abu Ghaith

Jimi Tewe

YES Alumni Webinar: LinkedIn for YES Alumni Job Seekers

The YES Alumni network has over 7,800 passionate, dedicated, and energetic students and young professionals from 46 different countries. Around the world, YES Alumni Associations and their members are actively engaged in community development projects, leadership initiatives and inventive new ways to use technology. 

YES Pakistan alumni Komal Hira and Ali Zen participated in technology workshops this year.

October marked the launch of the YES Alumni LinkedIn Group page, which made it the perfect time to take a closer look at LinkedIn as a career and networking tool for YES alumni. Alumni learned how to use the LinkedIn website to enhance their professional lives at the YES Alumni Webinar: LinkedIn for YES Alumni Job Seekers. The alumni also learned how LinkedIn can be used as a tool to jumpstart their careers and stay connected with other YES Alumni.

The webinar was led by Abeer D. Abu Ghaith, Chairperson and CEO of StayLinked, Career Guidance Supervisor at the Center of Entrepreneurship and Career Development in Palestine Polytechnic University, “Best Technology Enabler and Facilitator” at the 2014 MEA Women in Technology Awards, one of CEO Middle East magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women and the personality of month for Innovation in the January 2014 edition of “This Week in Palestine Magazine.” She leads trainings for youth on social media, employment and entrepreneurship, and has presented at multiple international and regional conferences. Born in Jordan in 1984, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron, Palestine.

With over 70 million members in 200 countries worldwide, LinkedIn is a tool that is able to jumpstart and enhance the professional development and interconnectedness of YES alumni. Since YES alumni are already active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, imagine the incredible potential for this group on a platform to that is used solely to communicate and share professional experiences, contacts and opportunities! If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording and download the materials here:!




Motivating Youth Volunteers

Olga Elisa

Hanan Anwar

Nazrin Ariffin

YES Alumni Webinar: Motivating Youth Volunteers

The alumni webinar held on September 16, 2015 discussed strategies for how to motivate others to start volunteering, how to keep current volunteers engaged, and how to use technology to mobilize volunteers!

The webinar was run by Olga Elisa, the program manager for Do Something Indonesia, which is part of the global social action organization, So far, over 4 million youth volunteers have joined the global movement, which calls on young people to use digital platforms to work on a wide range of current issues, including climate change, education, violence and poverty. Olga has always believed that the Internet and social media have the power to influence positive change in the world. Through Do Something Indonesia, she has found a way to harness that power by utilizing technology to mobilize youth to volunteer. During the webinar, she discussed her motivational strategies and offered tips for how they can implemented by YES alumni in their local communities.

Nazrin Ariffin (YES '10) and Hanan Anwar (YES '10) from Malaysia provided an alumni perspective on how they have motivate youth in their area to volunteer. They discussed the SoundsGood concert they organized this year, which was free for youth to enter and which aimed to motivate others to volunteer. Nazrin and Hanan shared how they planned the event, how they reached out to other organizations and developed partnerships, and what the results of the concert have been.

The alumni who attended the webinar said that it was very helpful and that they learned new strategies for how to motivate others. If you missed the webinar, you can watch a recording of it on YouTube or Vimeo!

YES Alumni Participants:

Nazrin Ariffin, YES 2009-2010, Malaysia, hosted by AFS in Wassau, WI

Hanan Anwar, YES 2009-2010, Malaysia, hosted by AFS in St. Louis, MO


GYSD - Helping Others on a Budget

Katherine Gerber
United States

YES Alumni Webinar: GYSD- Helping Others on a Budget

Global Youth Service Day is just around the corner! Many YES alumni are dedicated to service and giving back to their communities; however, it can also be difficult to find funding for projects and events. The YES Alumni Webinar, “GYSD: Helping Others on a Budget” that took place on March 17, 2015, addressed those difficulties and gave alumni strategies for how to plan and implement great projects on a budget. 

The webinar was hosted by Katherine Gerber, the Director of Outreach at Youth Service America. Katherine oversees the staff and programs that build capacity of local, national and international groups to create and scale high-impact youth service projects. This includes YSA’s signature campaign, Global Youth Service Day, and the Global Youth Service Network, an international coalition of organizations committed to positive youth development. She also serves as an advisor to YSA’s Youth Council. Katherine joined YSA in June 2012 as Manager of Outreach for National and Global Partnerships.

During the webinar, Katherine gave the alumni ideas for service projects that require very little funding, and taught them how to help others on a budget. She also discussed how to plan a project and register for GYSD, and helped alumni set up a timeline for their projects. In addition to that, Katherine highlighted new sources of funding for the alumni that they many had not have thought of before, such as crowdsourcing and creating partnerships with local businesses.

After attending the webinar, 78% of participants reported that they felt confident about running their own GYSD project! If you missed the webinar, you can get all of Katherine's advice and boost your own confidence by watching the recording of it on YouTube or Vimeo.


Project Evaluation

Marouane Smaili

Agha Ajma

YES Alumni Webinar: Project Evaluation

Marouane Smaili, a YES 2007-2008 alumnus from Morocco, hosted by Ayusa in Tucson, AZ was one of the presenters of the YES Alumni Webinar.

How do you measure the success of your alumni projects? Are they as effective as they could be? Evaluating projects is an easy way to help improve your work in the future and clearly show the impact your projects have, which can help you gain support from funders and your community.

The YES Alumni Webinar: Project Evaluation, held on March 4, 2015 at 9:00am EST,  focused on the above questions, as well as the benefits of evaluation and professional strategies and tips for how to evaluate projects. The webinar was led by Dr. Agha Ajmal, who is a Fulbright scholar, currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Health Services Policy and Management from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ajmal, originally from Karachi, Pakistan, has specialized in Health Program Monitoring and Evaluation, meaning that he develops evaluation frameworks and conducts cutting edge work in the area of health evaluation. He has done such work on his many publications and reports, including the Tawana Pakistan Project, for which he served as the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research Coordinator. The project served 500,000 primary school girls in poor rural provinces of Pakistan. Throughout his career, he has also served as the Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Tawana Project and the Acting Head of the Community Health Integrator of the Department of Community Health Sciences at Aga Khan University. 

Marouane Smaili, YES ’08, also presented on the webinar, and provided a YES Alumni perspective to evaluation. Since he has returned form his year in the U.S., Marouane has earned a Masters in Marketing and Sales Operations at ENCG Business School in Agadir and is currently working as a Communication Officer and Project Coordinator at an NGO called Dar Si Hmad. Through his professional projects and community service initiatives, Marouane has developed various skills related to project evaluation, and has tips on how to apply them to your YES Small Grant projects. Together, Dr. Ajmal and Marouane discussed the benefits of evaluation, methods for evaluation and how to best utilize your results. 

The alumni who attended the webinar learned a lot and were very excited to start utilizing their new knowledge in their future projects. Amadu from Sierra Leone said, "Now I know that Evaluation and Monitoring are necessary for a sucessful project, and this webinar will serve as a great tool for my current project as well as for the YES alumni Sierra Leone." Another alumnus who attended said, "We have experienced a lot from this webinar, it is time to start putting it into practice!" If you missed the webinar, you can watch a recording of it on YouTube or Vimeo.


Happy 15th Anniversary!

15th Anniversary YES Programs