YES Programs



Alumni Learn About Personal Identity

Three Macedonian YES alumni at conference table

By Rina Osmani (YES 2018-2019, North Macedonia, placed by Greenheart Exchange in North Yarmouth, ME) 

On February 5, Detlira Kamberi ’20 (YES 2019-2020, North Macedonia, virtually placed by YFU USA in Ann Arbor, MI) invited alumni to a workshop on mental health with a focus on individual and group identity. Eight alumni from Skopje, Kumanovo, and Veles joined.  

The first activity, which served as an icebreaker, focused on personal identities. 

Six Macedonian YES alumni at conference table with food and drinks

Alumni first drew a star on which they wrote the most important parts of their identities, such as name, birthplace, favorite color, education, career choices, origin, family members etc. After that, as a group, alumni wrote down their names to see if they had a common trait or characteristic on their star with another person from the group. This allowed the participants to acknowledge how diverse and how similar the group was. 

Detlira then opened a discussion on the categorization of a person’s identity into social traits (acquired) and the ones we are born with (inherited). Some of the alumni were confused and could not decide whether some traits were inherited or acquired. This activity helped a lot with self-reflection, self-development, and communication. 

After the mental health awareness activity, the alumni gathered for a monthly group meeting where they discussed ongoing community engagement.