Photo: Zainab with her hosts in 2008 - 2009
Bahrain joined the YES program countries in 2007, and in the past ten years Bahraini YES alumni have certainly grown! For the 15th anniversary celebration, this week we're highlighting Bahrain, including one spectacular alumna from the second cohort, Zainab al Mahari (YES 2008 – 2009, hosted by ASSE).
Zainab is now a successful banker, and she reflects on her YES journey with us:
“The YES Program was the golden opportunity that opened its doors for me to achieve my dream of studying in the United States. It shaped my personality and made me a very responsible and independent girl especially by the difference in the cultures.
My experience was not an easy one; being away from home and family at a young age and suddenly having to be responsible and independent was a bit tough, however, I am very grateful and thankful for it. I was also featured in the local newspaper!
Upon coming back home I was very enthusiastic to spread the ideas I had and to show them in actions through volunteer work. In addition, I was very inspired by my American peers and had my first summer job right after I went back home in 2009.
YES put a spark in me and paved my success path. Today, at the age of 25, I am a successful banker in one of the global and most prestigious banks, and I am still very grateful and remember in details how my experience changed my life completely.
I am still in touch with my host family and friends in the States and I visited them in December 2017.”