YES Programs



April YES Students of the Month

Graphic with a photo of Azizah and Zakaria both smiling

The YES program is proud to announce Azizah Ramadhani Rismayuda of Indonesia as one of two YES Students of the Month of April. Azizah is placed by World Link in Waukee, IA, where she attends Waukee High School.

Azizah smiling while holding up an Indonesian flag

Azizah is as an active member of her community and is nearing her 100-service hour milestone. Her first service project raised $456 for homeless youth via door-to-door fundraising. Azizah has helped organize several library Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) events for children, where she demonstrated her leadership skills by coordinating such activities as the "LEGO Zipline" and fascinating food experiments. She recently demonstrated how to craft a basic stethoscope during the library’s heart-themed event. Azizah earned special recognition from World Link as a cultural ambassador due to her exceptional efforts during International Education Week (IEW) based on how well she made herself and her culture memorable for her audiences. She will continue this role through her Global Youth Service Day project, in which she will teach children how to prepare traditional Indonesian dishes and donate them to the elderly.

Azizah laughing in front of a girl scout troop with a poster on Indonesia

Azizah eagerly pursues new opportunities at school and is active in numerous clubs. With Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), she created plush hearts for families with children in the hospital and bracelets of support for pediatric cancer patients. She led an activity to show appreciation to teachers through handmade cards and origami flowers. She participated in the International Club’s donation drive for refugees and shared an Indonesian breakfast with her peers. She taught herself tennis participating in open-court practices and recently performed with the school choir. Her straight-A record and extracurricular activities earned her the Warrior Award from Waukee High School for her commendable school spirit, perseverance, and civic engagement. The award also came with a certificate of recognition from the Iowa House of Representatives.

Azizah’s host family shared that hosting Azizah “has been a joy… She is polite and respectful and curious. She’s always willing to try something new or go on a new adventure. She does a lot of service and is cheerful and happy. We’ve enjoyed learning about her culture and sharing new ideas. What a shining star!”

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations to Azizah for being our April Student of the Month!

The YES program is proud to announce Zakaria Taleb of Tunisia as one of the two YES Students of the Month of April. Zakaria is placed by PAX in Lyme, New Hampshire and attends Hanover High School. Zakaria describes his exchange year as full of new adventures and experiences.

Zak smiling, sitting on a glass floor which overlooks New York City

Zakaria came to the United States with enthusiasm, an open mind, and lots of heart. He is full of gratitude for his New England host family and was excited to meet his host grandparents’ home in Nashville, TN. Zakaria shows appreciation to his host family by sharing his favorite Tunisian dishes, introducing them to facets of his culture, religion, and way of life, and helping his host brothers with homework and chores. Immersing himself fully in his host family’s routines and activities helped him overcome homesickness, show strength of character, and develop a strong bond with the family.

Zakaria takes the same approach in interacting with his New Hampshire community. With over 125 volunteer hours, he is making a significant impact. He has served food at his local church, helped a kindergarten teacher with student activities, and assisted in coaching a youth soccer team. Through his activities, he has demonstrated the benefits hosting high school exchange students brings to host communities.

Zak smiling in front of a soccer goal post with a youth soccer team

Zakaria blends his many interests to fully engage with his classmates and grow intellectually. He participates in the Refugee Club and raises money for refugees in the United States, and the Robotics Club, where he creates robots for competitions. In March, Zakaria attended the Virtual Better Understanding for a Better World (BUBW) conference on organized by the Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation (CECF). Through leadership development, multicultural training, and interfaith dialogue, the conference strives to break-down stereotypes. At the conference, American and international exchange high school students from diverse cultural backgrounds shared and learned about their various faith traditions.

Congratulations, Zakaria as one of our April YES Students of the Month!