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A Life-changing Experience at Iaccoca Global Village

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By Nassim Rizik (2014-2015, Israel Arab Communities, hosted by AFS-USA in Medford, MA)

The Global Village is an intensive, immersive program with a rich set of experiences that customize young leaders to achieve their leadership aspirations. The 2019 program ran June 22 to July 27. Topics that were included in the program were:

  • Entrepreneurship and Leadership
  • Global Networking and Multicultural Understanding
  • Next Generation Organizations and Sector Knowledge
  • Personal Development
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Nassim with Educational and Cultural Affairs Program Officer Katherine David-Fox

67 participants came this summer to Lehigh University from 34 countries, many of them are YES Alumni who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State.

I will be using the connections and networking we earned more than anything else. GV was the best place to meet professional people with diverse backgrounds and jobs and one day we'll collaborate together and do something outstanding that GV would be proud of.

We visited two of the United States’ iconic cities to experience leadership on a global scale. We toured major multinational businesses and meet with leaders at organizations such as: Bloomberg, Google, Capital Group, New York Stock Exchange, United Nations, U.S. Capitol, World Bank.

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The YES Alumni, had a special visit to the US Department of State in D.C., where we discussed the impact of our YES year on our achievements and life today. We also went to American Councils, where each and every one of us shared a two minute speech with employees who evaluate the YES Pre Departure Applications. 

The most valuable thing I learned from Global Village is to THINK and DREAM BIG, I was very inspired and motivated from people that I met during the five week program, as Ms. Frances once said " Success is great but failure is a better teacher". Life has ups and downs but sometimes we focus more on the negative side. GV taught me to never give up and keep working to make the world a better place. 

I will never forget my deep conversations with my GV brothers and sisters, we laughed, cried, danced, talked and lived together in peace regardless our cultural differences and political views. I will never forget visiting the United Nations, my dream job, and giving a memorable speech at the closing ceremony.


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