By Emmanuel G. Godfrey (YES 2015-2016, Liberia, hosted by AFS in Cumberland, ME)
My name is Emmanuel G. Godfrey, a YES and WYLET 2015-2016 alumnus who was placed in Cumberland, Maine and the current Secretary of the YES Alumni Association in Liberia. Ever since I returned home from the U.S. I have been involved with voluntary activities and I have created and implemented projects such as the Workshop for Effective English Teaching (WYLET) and Speaking and Better Understanding for a Better Liberia, as mediums to give back to the communities.
This year, I was one of the two WYLET alumni selected to volunteer at the 2018 WYLET WORKSHOP as Alumni Assists. This opportunity enabled me to visit two of my teachers who were Peace Corps Volunteers to Liberia, and to visit my host family and school. As a YES alumnus, I took it as my responsibility to build mutual understanding and to educate Americans about Liberia.
During my visit to Redmond, Washington, I did five presentations at the Redmond Middle School in Redmond, Washington. The presentations were about Liberia, the YES Programs and my activities back home. In Cumberland, Maine, my host state, I had the opportunity to do four presentations at both my U.S. high school and the middle school. In my presentations I talk about how united the YES program and alumni are. I try to prove to my audience that YES is a crossroad where future leaders meet. On my trip to the U.S. I dedicated ten (10) hours to nine presentations.
Coming back to the U.S. as a WYLET alumnus did not just benefit me, it benefited and inspired a lot of people in the U.S. and has promoted mutual understanding and has build cultural ties. My visit to Maine took up a new name and meaning as it is said to be a "DIPLOMATIC VISIT". I am glad I was able to connect with my friends and host family, and glad to have inspired Americans.
Once an exchange student, always an exchange student.