By: Ruaa Abu Shamsiyeh (YES 2022-2023, West Bank, placed by AYA/AIFS in Troupsburg, NY)
The YES program was a life changing experience for me. I had so much fun learning about American culture and cultures from all over the world from my fellow exchange students. I grew as a person, became more independent, learned how to problem solve, and got to know amazing people that I now consider my family and friends.
I also shared my culture and helped others learn about Palestine. It was a relief to talk about our situation and share resources for people to stay educated on the events in my home community.
Overall, it was a year full of fun, adventure, and new experiences. I did so many things I’ve never done before. I can’t imagine how I would’ve turned out as a person without this experience.