The Monday after his arrival orientation, Yash Saboo (YES 2017-2018, India, hosted by World Link in Albia, Iowa) walked into the office of his host school, Albia High School, inspired to start a Model United Nations Club. The club is now up and running, with Yash as its president and as his team’s first Outstanding Delegate. This was only the first of Yash’s achievements as a YES student.
During International Education Week (IEW), Yash delivered 16 cultural presentations and offered his audiences an immersion experience. He taught them traditional Indian dances and games, and phrases in both Hindi and Sanskrit. The audiences practiced their ‘om’ chant, were treated to an authentic taste of Indian cuisine, and left with a deeper understanding of India’s history through its everyday culture. In reflecting on his week of presentations, Yash wrote that IEW brought out the true ambassador in him.
Each of Yash’s 116 service hours has shown his dedication to his community. He can take pride in having been a top team fundraiser for Reggie’s Sleepout, an event that aids homeless youth in Iowa. Yash and his host brother from Tajikistan, Behruz, worked together to raise over $1,000 by organizing two bake sales during football games and a Saturday car wash. To help garner support, they also started a social media campaign, and Yash wrote an article in the community newspaper.
Yash, also World Link's YES November Student of the Month, regularly fundraises to buy warm clothes and holiday presents for the disadvantaged through concession sales that support the “Mary Sauter’s Pay It Forward Program.” He also aids the underserved when volunteering for “Helping Hands,” a local non-profit thrift store and food bank. He enjoys spending time after school volunteering in the children’s section of the library and with children at the local middle school through the peer-mentoring program. He served as an assistant coach for a youth soccer team.
In addition to the Model UN, Yash has joined multiple clubs at school, including the Student Council, FFA, International Club, Environmental Club, Book Club, and the Academic Team. He is also on both the basketball team and the co-ed dance team, which recently took first place at the Iowa State Dance Competition. As a part of the Engineering and Design Development Club, Yash and his partner have been brainstorming about different and safer ways for farmers to collect grains and will present their solution and model by the end of the academic year.
Having accomplished so much already, Yash will surely leave a legacy in Iowa after he returns to India as an alumnus and future leader. Congratulations, Yash!