For YES alumni, the 4th of July is a special day since they experienced the holiday during their exchange in the U.S. To reflect on their memories, alumni communities often celebrate American independence in their home countries. This year, the holiday was especially significant for the YES alumni community in Kosovo because it was the first time they were able to have an in-person event in over a year due to local COVID-19 restrictions.
They celebrated by getting together for a picnic in a local park to eat pizza and enjoy American themed cupcakes. The event gave participants the chance to share their memories from celebrations in their host communities, including watching fireworks, going to BBQs, and swimming.
Medina Bilalli (YES 2019-2020, Kosovo, placed by Aspect Foundation in Canton, IL) reflected on the event saying, “This celebration reminded me of how much the YES program has had impact on me. Hanging out with my fellow alumni friends only made me realize that we truly are a family that understands and supports each other.”