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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.

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Community Health Powerpoint

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

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Project Sustainability Powerpoint

Powerpoint on increasing the sustainability of project by Simona Ristovska.

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Project Management Powerpoint

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

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Partnerships Powerpoint

Powerpoint on best practices for building partnerships by Dima Helou.

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Evaluation Process Example Template

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

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Monitoring and Evaluation Presentation

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

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My Experience with Evaluation Presentation

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

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Career Development Presentation

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

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Presenters

YES Alumni Grants Overview Webinar 2018

Ahmad Ladadweh
West Bank

Nendi Lukolm
Nigeria

Jeni St John
United States

18 Inspirational Alumni Grant Projects Positively Impacting Our World!

It’s that time of year again for YES Alumni Grants! The YES Alumni Grants application will be open from December 14, 2018 through February 11, 2019. The competition is open to all alumni of the YES and YES Abroad programs. Are you eager to conduct a project, but need some inspiration? Here are 18 projects to learn from! 

Perhaps you are not a YES alum, but we still hope that you will find cheer in the positively impressive and inspirational ways YES alumni are changing our world for the better. Read on for heartwarming YES alumni grant briefs!

Also, we have two webinars lined up to help you put your best application forward!

A Grants Program Overview webinar with special guest alumni discussing their experience conducting a grant project was held on December 11, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

A Grants Proposal Writing webinar will be held on December 18, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Sign up for the December 18 webinar. Learn more about the Grants Proposal Writing webinar here.

The YES Alumni Grants program funded 18 grants which were conducted over the past year by alumni in the following 15 countries: Algeria, Bulgaria, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, and West Bank.


Conflict Resolution

Little Leaders Sign
Little Leaders

Lamia Lahrech, (YES ’05) Algeria, hosted by Nacel Open Door in Milford, NH, received a YES alumni grant for The Little Leaders, an educational peace camp promoting mindfulness, peace, and civic engagement for 25 children ages eight to 12. The program aimed to empower young leaders to serve their communities in the future by teaching the techniques of nonviolent communication, meditation, and conflict resolution. 


Education

Numanu Andani, (YES ’10) Ghana, hosted by ACES in Worthington, OH, received YES alumni grant funding to conduct Aren't Our Perspectives of Education All Wrong?. This project (pictured at the top of the article) partnered with the youth organization Numanu helped found, Northern Voices Ghana (NVG), to provide education and career guidance to students from ten high schools in the northern region of Ghana. The project team met with over 4,000 students to give visual presentations and speeches on how to make the best out of high school education, what to expect after high school, possible scholarships and sources of funding, and how to find motivation to commit themselves to their education. 

Dream Maker
Dream Maker Institute

Mifta Sugesty, (YES ’09) Indonesia, hosted by PAX in Ballston Spa, NY, received a YES alumni grant to found The Dream Maker Institute, a creative learning center for youth in Aceh, Indonesia. The Dream Maker Institute provides classes and resources aimed at developing critical thinkers and social justice-minded youth leaders and entrepreneurs. The institute hosts professional training in youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, non-formal education, social impact measurement, organizational development, and social justice for 250 youths ages 15-30.

Amara Kamara, (YES ’13) Liberia, hosted by AYA/AIFS in Winter Haven, FL, conducted the YES alumni grant project Youth Rise from in partnership with the Youth Positive Transformation Initiative (YOTPI). Amara and his team hosted a two-day workshop for 300 youths in Gbarnga, where attendees were educated on civic responsibility. By increasing the civic knowledge and capacity of youth, YOPTI hoped to increase youth participation in the upcoming local elections.

Ramp
RAMP Book Group

Madison Krieger, (YES Abroad ’15) United States, hosted by AFS in Surabaya, Indonesia, received grant funding to conduct RAMP Book Group. Madison and another non-alumna colleague developed a book club for children of immigrants at a middle school to help with their reading, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. The seven-week program was built around the study of four books focused on themes of diversity, social justice, peace and conflict, and immigration.


Entrepreneurship

Plamena Solakova, (YES ’10) Bulgaria, hosted by PAX in Richland, WA, received YES alumni grant funding to lead Entrepreneurship as a Reflection of Female Empowerment, a four-day workshop on human rights and women’s role in business for 11 young women under the age of 25. The first three days consisted of professional development training and discussion to teach participants how to launch successful careers. On the fourth day, Plamena organized a panel of accomplished female guest speakers, including the Deputy Mayor of Silistra.

Shoe Workshop
The Shoe Designers

Nendi Lukolm, (YES ’06) Nigeria, hosted by IRIS in Washington County, IA received grant funding to conduct The Shoe Designers, a project that trained 30 youths aged 15-25 in the art of shoe making with a three-month series of workshops. The aim of the project was to help the youths of Jos who were unemployed and not in school to acquire a skill that could give them a means to earn a living.


Interfaith and Strategic Dialogues

Tolerance Ambassadors
Tolerance Ambassadors

Coskun Islek, (YES ’10) Turkey, hosted by AFS in Eau Claire, WI, hosted Tolerance Ambassadors. As intolerance is on the rise in Turkey, Coskun and his team organized a week-long tolerance-themed camp for 20 high school students from 13 different cities across Turkey. The project team designed and implemented a curriculum that facilitated participants’ understanding of the roots of conflict through hands-on activities, simulations, and group work.

Monique Jafta, (YES ’14) South Africa, hosted by AFS in Kendallville, IN, received a YES alumni grant to hold a Gender Equality Information Session at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein. The keynote speaker was Zane Thela, a transgender man who works at the human rights office at the university. The session, attended by 150 students, defined what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex, and educated participants on the LGBTQI community. 

Philippines
Transforming Community Ability to Capability

Sarah Mae Ismael, (YES ’06) Philippines, hosted by AYA/AIFS in Holton, KS, implemented a YES alumni grant project called Transforming Community Ability to Capability (TCA2C) in Barangay Taluksangay, an underserved Muslim indigenous community of 8,500 in Zamboanga. Sarah and her team partnered with YOUTeacH Zamboanga and Global UNITE Youth Network to provide training and awareness sessions in response to community issues brought to the team’s attention by the local government. The information and training sessions targeted various subgroups in the community, including interfaith dialogue with tribal leaders, youth leadership and teambuilding training, illicit drug awareness, HIV awareness and prevention seminar with members of the LGBTQ+ community, and a seminar on family planning.

Unite The World
Unite the World

Houcine Jedli, (YES ’16) Tunisia, hosted by AYUSA in Ocala, FL, led the YES alumni grant project Unite the World, a five-day summer camp in Kasserine for 25 high school and college students, ages 16 to 19. The camp aimed to provide attendees with leadership skills and engage them in activities that promote world peace. Strengthening a  network of  critical thinkers and peacemakers was the project’s main goal. 


Professional Development

Busra Kiriscioglu, (YES ’13) Turkey, hosted by AYA/AIFS in St. Cloud, MN received grant funding to hold an Alumni Career Development Day in Istanbul. As part of the event, five older alumni shared their career and professional experiences with about 20 high school-aged alumni and university students who haven't yet graduated. The high school alumni had the opportunity to speak with the university student alumni to learn about their majors and university life, and the alumni attending university benefited from speaking with more experienced professional alumni who are already in the workforce.


Promoting the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

Dare To Dive
Dare to Dive

Alhaji Mohammed, (YES ’08) Ghana, hosted by AFS in Alexandria, VA, conducted Dare-To-Dive. This yearlong project, delivered swimming lessons provided by professional instructors to 60 students with visual, mobility, and hearing/speech disabilities at the University of Ghana in Accra. The project trained and equipped participants with swimming skills, as well as provided motivation via inspirational guest speakers and trainers to enhance self-confidence and independence.


Public Health

Water Tank
Water Harvesting Project

Anne Ndegwa, (YES ’11) Kenya, hosted by PAX in Tuscaloosa, AL, received grant funding to conduct a Water Harvesting Project. The project team set up a water tank and filtration system at the Global Hope Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre to harvest rain water to be used during periods of drought. The Centre houses 80 children who were rescued from homelessness and were previously afflicted by poverty and drug addiction. The water tank and filtration system provides the Centre with water for domestic use as well as for gardening and agricultural endeavors for subsistence.


Sustainable Development

Akash Kumar, (YES ’15) India, hosted by AFS in Mesa, AZ, and two fellow YES alumni finished their yearlong YES alumni grant project SDG Society. The project aimed to raise awareness and induce action among youth surrounding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project team designed training modules and implemented workshops about the SDGs in more than 30 schools in New Delhi, Delhi; Gurugram, Haryana; and Singrauli District, Madhya Pradesh. 

Edusol
EduSol

Chintan Mehta, (YES ’13) India, hosted by AFS in Corrales, NM, carried out EduSol, a project designed to educate middle school students about the emerging field of renewable energy with a focus on solar energy. Through presentations in and around Bangalore, he got 300 students, ages nine to 15, excited about solar energy through activities like a solar car race, lighting an LED, and charging USB devices with solar energy to see firsthand how solar energy is harnessed.


Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment

Ahmad Collage
ANA Means "ME" in Arabic

Ahmad Ladadweh, (YES ’13) West Bank, hosted by PAX in Bennington, VT, the project ANA Means "ME" in Arabic, which consisted of a series of workshops focusing on women’s empowerment and leadership for 16 female students from Birzeit University. The workshops aimed to raise participants’ awareness about women rights, teach them self-defense techniques and how to treat their body, and provide lessons in basic life and professional skills.

For more information on the YES Alumni Grants program, contact yesalumni@americancouncils.org.

Presenters

Social Media for Social Good

David Imani
United States

Social Media for Social Good Webinar

Social media has a huge influence on our rapidly developing multimedia environment. As our fast moving and inter-connected multimedia society develops, so must our communication and media skill sets, especially in the world of activism and community service. This is particularly relevant for YES students and alumni who serve as changemakers and cultural ambassadors in both physical communities and multimedia environments.

To make sure YES alumni and students stay up to date on the newest advances and opportunities social media presents, the YES program hosted a Social Media for Social Good Webinar on Thursday, November 15th 2018. During the webinar we discussed how social media can be a powerful tool to help advance project planning, networking, implementation, and sharing impact of projects. The Social Media for Social Good Webinar gave YES alumni the tools to use social media to effectively promote and support their projects. Webinar participants learned how to creatively present their project/program evaluation statistics and impact stories on social media to promote their work, build momentum for their causes, and strengthen partnerships. Finally, the webinar pushed YES alumni to think how they can take their social media presence from awareness to action.

Excitingly, the Social Media for Social Good Webinar fell at the end of International Education Week - an initiative that encourages YES alumni and on-program students to share their culture and the benefits of international education and exchange. The Social Media for Social Good Webinar encouraged students and alumni to expand the goals of International Education Week to a larger international audience through social media.

Meet the Panelist

David Imani Headshot Sq

Online and in real life, David Imani loves a great story – especially when it has a great purpose. At the Ad Council, he tells the stories of the nation’s largest social good campaigns through social media and public relations. Before that, he ran social media channels for Broadway shows and live experiences. And even before that, he studied Public Relations at Boston University. Throughout it all, he loves helping nonprofits and niche arts organizations find their story and tell it in a powerful way. He’s also always singing.

The Ad Council is the largest producer of public service advertisements. They create campaigns through different communication methods, such as social media, in order to increase awareness of public issues and have a measurable impact on society. The Ad Council produces service announcements sponsored by both non-profits and federal government agencies. Their campaigns are divided into four categories: education, family and community, health, and safety. Recently, the Ad Council has been involved in campaigns surrounding cyberbullying, childhood obesity, and energy efficiency. You may have heard of some of their more famous campaigns like Smokey Bear and promotions for the Peace Corps and USAID!

Presenters

Gender Equality for Social Change

Angela Lagat
Kenya

Sanda Hanjalic
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gender Equality for Social Change Webinar

YES alumni around the world have proven time after time that they are invested in promoting a more just and equal society, especially one that is free of gender bias. On September 18, 2018 YES program hosted the “Gender Equality for Social Change” Webinar to celebrate the alumni who are advancing gender equality, gain further momentum for the cause, and build awareness and strategies for best practices in striving towards gender equality in YES alumni communities around the globe. This webinar discussed how men and women can create projects and programs that challenge gender stereotypes, and emphasize the role YES alumni can take in supporting and changing perceptions about women.

The Gender Equality for Social Change Webinar had the goal of encouraging all YES alumni to become agents of change and challenge stereotypes that exist in their community. Advancing gender equality is a team effort; it is crucial that women and men work together to cultivate an environment that accepts and promotes gender equality across all sectors, whether it be in government positions, the workforce, or as community leaders. Regardless of gender, YES alumni can play a role in making their communities more just and equitable. Gender equality is not only about females creating women-led initiatives – gender equality also means that male counterparts are supporting and changing perceptions about women. YES alumni can all make a difference in making sure that women are more accepted and respected in all aspects of our societies. The webinar discussed strategies for making both men and women’s concerns and experiences an important part in the design and implementation of projects and programs, so that all genders benefit equally. This could be through supporting women-led entrepreneur initiatives, ensuring that women’s perspectives are included when developing projects, and so much more.

On the webinar two projects were featured that challenge the way that women are perceived within their own society to ultimately advance gender equality. 

Meet the Panelists

Sanda

Sanda Hanjalic (YES 2009-2010, Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosted by PAX in Lancaster, PA)

Sanda became interested in the issue of gender (in)equality while in the US, because she saw that many things were different than in her home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When Sanda returned home she decided to learn more and try to understand the gender discrepancies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how she could change, or rather improve, it at least in her surroundings. 

Sanda says her most successful project has been “But Why Couldn't They?” "But Why Couldn't They" is an educational film project made by the members of the YES Alumni Association, with the help of American Councils and feminist production KRIVA. The film gathers stories of women who fight against prejudice and do things which are traditionally seen as "men's" work. Sanda explains that the goal of these short films is to fight against every-day stereotypes in Bosnian and Herzegovinian society, which often stop young women from pursuing their dreams in fear of being judged or failing. The women shown in films are the living proof that despite everything, women can do what they truly want. The women in the films proudly say "Why couldn't we?" and defy gender roles. The films were shown in cities around Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Skopje, Macedonia.

Sanda explains that as a girl growing up in Sarajevo, she was constantly discouraged to join in certain activities or play some sports because they were for boys only, which she never understood, but regardless, she wanted to fit in as a child and didn't go after her dreams. Sanda said if these films helped any other young Sanda to be braver and do what she wants, the goal is accomplished.

Check out the "But Why Couldn't They" Videos below!

Angela Profile Photo

Angela Lagat is the Chief Brand and Marketing lead at ZanaAfrica with over 12 years experience in developing and managing a range of global and local brands. Her current areas of focus is developing approaches to deliver products and information for adolescent girls and women in the areas of Menstrual health and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights in Kenya and East Africa. 

ZanaAfrica, in collaboration with The Population Council, is testing approaches to determine whether access to sanitary pads and reproductive health education helps keep girls in school and improves social and health outcomes through The Nia Project. Evidence from The Nia Project will lay the foundation for future action and study on menstrual health management, and school-based reproductive health education. These results will represent a major step forward in the quality of evidence on approaches to improve the health, educational and social outcomes of adolescent girls in Kenya. 

Angela currently leads the Creative Brand Team at ZanaAfrica overseeing the creation and delivery of the Nia brand promise and experience through its sanitary pad and health education products co-created with adolescent girls and women in Kenya. A big believer that brands have the power to create social change, Angela advocates the use of social branded platforms to transform industries and/or markets.

Before joining ZanaAfrica in 2016, Angela worked for various companies in the corporate sector such as, Java House Group-East Africa, Creative agencies like Young & Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi and TwoTone South Africa. Her career in the development sector (on transitioning from the Corporate sector) started with Girl Effect Rwanda a Private Public Partnership organization developing a potent branded platform for teen girls in Rwanda, as the Associate Country Brand Manager.

In her recent brand communication management roles within the development sector, she has been responsible for identifying, developing and executing strategies aligned to realizing organizational goals and creating ecosystems to support brand growth that will have social impact for girls and their communities.

Presenters

Reverse Culture Shock Webinar 2018

Merima Muhic
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mahamadou Lamine Bagayoko
Mali

Abdalaziz Abuzayed
Gaza

Shine Santos
Philippines

Reverse Culture Shock Webinar

Over 700 YES students from 35 countries, placed in all 50 states, recently returned back to their home after spending an exciting year in the U.S. As previous YES students, you all can relate to how ten months in a new culture can lead to a lot of personal changes. New habits are formed, mannerisms picked up, communication styles changed, and attitudes shifted. All these new experiences and personal growth can make it a challenge to re-adjust to life back home. When you come to America you are expected to be met with difficulties and challenges while adjusting to a new lifestyle; but perhaps you didn’t expect the reverse: re-adjusting to the culture and lifestyle you grew up in. Culture shock is a phenomenon that is frequently discussed as one goes into a new culture, but the opposite is rarely explored – what is it like to return home after a year in the United States and exposure to a new set of cultures, traditions, and lifestyles. It can truly be disorienting to return home.

As the newest cohort of YES alumni was settling back into their home countries, YES program held the Reverse Culture Shock Webinar (July 31, 2018 at 9AM EDT) featuring YES alumni from around the world. We invited all YES alumni, whether they had been back home for six years or six weeks, to join the conversation about reverse culture shock. YES staff and supporters were also encouraged to join the webinar for insight on common challenges and best practices for YES alumni dealing with reverse culture shock.

This webinar invited a panel of YES alumni from all the Recruiting Organizations (AMIDEAST, iEARN, IRIS, American Councils, and AFS) and represented regions around the world to discuss what it is like for YES alumni to re-adjust to life in their home countries. The Reverse Culture Shock Webinar took the form of a virtual roundtable discussion with five alumni sharing their experiences with reverse culture shock, and strategies and tactics to overcome obstacles. The YES alumni panelists shared their experiences of settling back into their home communities and created an open dialogue about some of the biggest barriers.

Meet Our Panelists

Amna
Amna, from Pakistan, is the webinar moderator

Amna Sabahat Bhutta, (YES 2006 - 2007, Pakistan, hosted by AYUSA in Vancouver, WA), is a communication and project management specialist from Pakistan. Prior to starting her master in International Affairs at Columbia University, she worked as the program manager with Mishal Pakistan, a country partner of World Economic Forum. She also worked as an information analyst for a multinational, Global Rescue, and as the regional ambassador to South Asia for Global Zero. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar and Women International Leadership (WIL) Fellow at International House, New York. She has been awarded with Emerging Leaders’ Award, given by Pakistan-US Alumni Network and US State Department, as an appreciation for her volunteer work and community service projects in Pakistan since 2007. Amna is currently interning at iEARN-USA and will be the Reverse Culture Shock Webinar moderator. 


Lamine Cropped
Lamine, from Mali, is a webinar panelist

Mahamadou Lamine Bagayoko is the Mali coordinator for the YES program. Mr. Bagayoko is a Fulbright alumnus with a Master of Arts in Women's studies from SUNY Albany and is an educator with more than 15 years of experiences in exchange programs management. He has worked as homestay coordinator, students services coordinator, languages teacher and coordinator, and assistant director for a study abroad program that brings American students to Mali. As the country coordinator of iEARN in Mali, Mr. Bagayoko manages the YES program, with his staff, under the official name of NICER MALI. He is passionate about culture, gender, social justice and mutual understanding. He  loves sharing knowledge and learning from others. He is fluent in French, English, Bambara and speaks several other languages including German.


Merima Final
Merima, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a webinar panelist

Merima Muhic (YES 2015-2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosted by ACES in Apex, NC) believes a big part of her exchange year was shaped by the fact that she was placed in a single parent home with a host mom that to this day continues to be a wonderful support system. Merima’s exchange year was full of new cultures, friends, interests; all that would stick around even after she finished her exchange year. She credits those people and experiences in shaping the years that have followed YES. Merima says that YES Alumni Organization had a lot to do with her adapting back into her community – she became involved with projects as soon as she returned home. Merima eventually became a city representative for YES and gets to do a project a month on topics she is extremely passionate about, such as gender equality, youth involvement, serving at shelters, and other community service projects. Merima is also a full-time student at University of Sarajevo where she is majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy.


Aziz Cropped
Aziz, from Palestine, is a webinar panelist

Abdalaziz Abuzayed (YES 2010-2011, Gaza, hosted by FLAG in Lexington, SC and Marion, NC) is a Palestinian young man, aspiring to create a positive difference in the world through education, dialogue, and development projects. Abdalaziz, who prefers Aziz for short, currently reside in Cairo, Egypt, in queue to start his Master's studies in Area and Global Studies for International Cooperation. His interests are limitless, just like he hopes his influence will be. Aziz joined the YES program to start a journey life, and it hasn't yet ended. He will tell you how one relatively short experience can enhance your whole life the moment you realize what you have.


Shine Photo
Shine, from Philippines, is a webinar panelist

Shine Santos (YES 2006-2007, Philippines, hosted by PAX in Bay City, MI) is a Customer Development Executive at Unilever Food Solutions. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines under the degree BS Tourism. She was hosted in Bay City, Michigan during her KL-YES year in 2007 and spent the year with the Kernstock's together with another exchange student from Brazil. Shine served as the Chapter President  of the AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines, Metro Manila Chapter from 2014-2015, and continues to volunteer at her local KL-YES alumni association. On weekends, she plays Touch Football (Touch Rugby) with her local team and often go for long distance runs. Shine is currently a member of the Philippine Women's National Touch Football Team that will compete at the Touch World Cup 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Presenters

Global Youth Service Day 2018 Webinar

Mohammed Kiawu
Liberia

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

Photo 2

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. 

Presenters

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! 

Presenters

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

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

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.

Maxim

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.

Hassani

Musta

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

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. 

Presenters

A STRONGER COMMUNITY: Engaging YES Alumni and Students with Disabilities

Susan Sygall
United States

Olivia Hardin
United States

Celine Lin
Malaysia

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

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.

Presenters

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

Tasneem Kibria
Bangladesh

Portia
Ghana

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. 

Presenters

Sports for Development and Peace

Rachel Markowitz

Geraldine Go-Bernardo
Philippines

Nasir Ahmad
Ghana

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.

Presenters

Cross-Country Collaboration

Hela Nafti
Tunisia

Shebnem Niazi
Bulgaria

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.

Presenters

GYSD 2017!

Yutthakrit Chalermthai
Thailand

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!

Presenters

Social Media for Social Good

Davor Tunjic
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Will Smith
Liberia

Social Media for Social Good: YES Alumni Webinar

It's so important to know how to use social media to mobilize your IEW projects and activities. #IEW is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide from November 14-18, 2016! That's why we organized the Social Media for Social Good YES alumni webinar on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. During the webinar, YES alumni learned tips and tricks for using social media to share their culture and activities during IEW! Both YES alumni and on-program students were encouraged to attend.

The panel of speakers included Will Smith (Not the actor!), President & Director of the Monrovia Football Academy in Liberia and Davor Tunjic, YES 2012-2013 and YES Alumni Coordinator of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both speakers offered participants of the webinar strategies and tools for using social media platforms to promote and propel their IEW projects and activities while gaining support from their peers. 

If you missed the webinar, you can still learn how to use social media to get the word out about your projects and activities by watching the recording of this webinar on the YES YouTube and Vimeo channels!


Meet the Panel:

Will Smith (Not the actor!), President & Director of the Monrovia Football Academy in Liberia

Inspired by his participation in the 2013 Liberian Peace & Reconciliation soccer match and President Sirleaf’s acknowledgment that Liberia’s education system needed reconstruction, Will co-founded Liberia’s first soccer school to create new opportunities for Liberia’s talented boys and girls. Monrovia Football Academy (MFA) is the first school in Liberia to combine formal education with professional soccer development.  As the Director of the Academy, Will oversees the school’s operations in Liberia, manages all fundraising and outreach activities, and establishes partnerships with academic and soccer institutions both in Liberia and abroad. He uses social media to create awareness about education issues in Liberia and empowers his peers to make a difference. Will holds an MS in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in Government and French from the College of William & Mary. He is currently completing a graduate course on social entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University and splits his time between Liberia and the United States.

Davor Tunjic, YES 2012-2013, Bosnia and Herzegovina

After completing his YES year, Davor became the YES Alumni Coordinator of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As Alumni Coordinator, he has organized and executed several projects including the renovation of public places, donation drives, and social good campaigns. After completing a YES Alumni Digital Storytelling Workshop, Davor facilitated his own Digital Storytelling Workshops for YES and FLEX alumni in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was also a part of an alumni project called, "A sto ne bi mogle?", a video documentary about women who perform jobs that are reserved for men in Bosnian society. Davor participated in the StartQube Social Entrepreneurship Workshop in Macedonia as a Social Media Trainee and shared his expertise with social media for social awareness with attendees of the webinar. 

Presenters

Webinar: Community Health

Joyce Kilikpo Jarwalo
Liberia

Ashfaq Hussain
Pakistan

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!

Presenters

Global Youth Service Day Panel Discussion

Simona Ristovska
Macedonia

Hassan Saeed
Pakistan

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.

Presenters

Crowdfunding

Samiur Rahman
Bangladesh

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!

 

Presenters

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!

Presenters

LinkedIn for YES Alumni Jobseekers

Abeer D. Abu Ghaith
Jordan

Jimi Tewe
Nigeria

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: www.yesprograms.org/alumni-resources!

 

 

Presenters

Motivating Youth Volunteers

Olga Elisa
Indonesia

Hanan Anwar
Malaysia

Nazrin Ariffin
Malaysia

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, DoSomething.org. 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

Presenters

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.

Presenters

Project Evaluation

Marouane Smaili
Morocco

Agha Ajma
Pakistan

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