By Bushra Kamara (YES 2018-2019, Sierra Leone, hosted by AYUSA in San Antonio, TX)
I recently had the opportunity to go live on the air in Sierra Leone to discuss my experience in the United States through the YES program. I spoke with Star Radio and Star TV. I think my interview went pretty well, and I was so excited to be able to share my experience on the air. Two of my fellow YES 2018-2019 Sierra Leone alumni were also interviewed, but they spoke with different reporters from different media outlets.
One of the first questions the reporter asked me was “How does it feel to be a finalist and a YES student?” Of course, I told the reporter that the feeling was great. Just to be selected amongst hundreds of applicants from across the country and to be able to participate in this cultural exchange program was the biggest achievement of my life at that time.
Naturally, the reporter was really curious to learn about my experience in the U.S. as a YES student. I told the reporter that my experience was amazing. I went into detail about how the YES program gave me a new family who I now have a lasting tie with. I had the best host family ever! And it was a wonderful adventures with my host family and friends at school. I tasted delicious food like bean tacos, which was the best America food in my opinion. I had the chance to go to other states like Tennessee, Colorado, Louisiana and many more.
I explained to the reporter that I had the opportunity to learn and experience firsthand American celebrations like Halloween and Thanksgiving, which we don't have here in Sierra Leone. I also got the chance to show my American host family and friends how we celebrate our Christmas, Easter, and the main Islamic celebrations Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha.
I liked being interviewed because it gives me the opportunity to express the beautiful feelings I have inside me about the YES program. I could share my excitement for the U.S as a country, my host family and friends, and I could explain to people listening across Sierra Leone the impact YES has had on us as beneficiaries. Finally being interviewed gives me the opportunity to be able to express gratitude to all the organizations that made this possible, and of course to the U.S. Department of State for the opportunity.