By Medina Bilalli (YES 2019-2020, Kosovo, Placed with Aspect in Canton, IL)
We celebrate YES Appreciation Day every year on October 15 but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations this year were a little bit different. It is hard to connect with our peers and fellow alumni when government restrictions prevent us from fully meeting in person. Despite these challenges, we had the opportunity to get a small group from the YES alumni community in Kosovo together, all while socially distancing.
I believe that my generation of YES students, 2019-2020, really needed a get-together because we hadn’t had the chance to share our YES experiences with each other in person. We had gotten used to talking through the microphone and smiling in front of the camera, so seeing each other in person was very refreshing. While we were together, we talked and discussed, shared, played and, by the end of the day, we were all grateful for the new bonds and relationships we made.
There might be only one official day that celebrates YES and its opportunities, but for us alumni, we celebrate YES every day because that one exchange year in our life made us see the world differently.