YES Programs



Eight Ways Alumni Empower Youth through Education

Mozambique Smiling Student in Classroom during Educational Workshop

The YES alumni community constantly harnesses their energy and commitment to driving positive change. From teaching tech skills to young women to fostering language and cultural exchange, alumni across the globe have been busy creating and leading initiatives that educate, empower, and connect. These activities not only reflect their dedication to personal growth and community service but also their ongoing contribution to a legacy of international understanding and cooperation.

Here are eight ways YES alumni have been impacting education in 2024:

1. In Maputo, Mozambique, four alumni led the Engle Spark Initiative, which provided English language lessons to 90 children from a local orphanage and the surrounding community. The initiative aimed to give students basic English skills, foster a love of learning, introduce intercultural competency, and promote the YES program. (Photo above)

Nigeria Group photo with YES alumni outside on the stairs

2. In Bauchi, Nigeria, four alumni visited Dolphin Maria College to promote the YES program to over 600 students by sharing their transformative experiences in the U.S. Their presentation detailed the YES program's eligibility criteria and application process, encouraging students to consider applying for the 2025-2026 program year, thereby promoting education, cultural exchange, and volunteerism. (Photo left)

3. In Tirana, Albania, alumni engaged in a networking event and discussion on European law and justice reform with Dr. Fjoralba Caka, a professor of law – and a Fulbright alumna – from the University of Tirana. In attendance at the event was U.S. Embassy Alumni Coordinator Sibora Kodra. Dr. Caka shared her insights on her role in advancing justice reform in Albania, the European integration process, and European Trade Law.

4. In January, eleven alumni in Amman, Jordan lent a hand at an ACCESS program graduation for 140 students. They provided the graduates with valuable insights into their exchange year and encouraged the students to apply for the YES program, fostering a sense of community and USG alumni comradery among the new graduates. (Photo right)

Jordan ACCESS Graduation group photo with certificates

5. In Tunisia, alumni organized two recent technology and language learning initiatives. In February, Ranim Yaakoubi ’20 hosted PharmaHack, engaging 30 university students in a hackathon to develop innovative health technology solutions. Another initiative, the English Crew program took place across Djerba, El Kef, and Sfax over the course of one month. This program, led by eight alumni, inspired 45 youth to enhance their English and leadership skills, promoting youth development, cultural exchange, and American culture.

Ranim Yaakoubi (YES 2019-2020, Tunisia, placed by AFS in Monmouth, ME)

Pakistan-YES alumni and participants gathered in front of a banner titled Inspiring Young Chefs

6. Alumni in Pakistan hosted a culinary workshop for 12 girls, ages 13 to 17, from an orphanage in Peshawar. Participants were introduced to the behind-the-scenes operations of a local restaurant. This event provided them with an opportunity to explore their culinary potential and introduced them to a possible career path they could pursue in the future. (Photo left)

7. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, two YES program promotional events took place in February. At an event in Zepce, 35 participants, including students from the U.S. Embassy’s Leadership, English, and American Democracy (LEAD) program, learned from alumni insights on the cultural and educational exchange opportunity provided by the YES program. At another event in Travnik, YES Abroad and Balkan Language Initiative students spoke to 100 students, including 20 from the LEAD program, about how and why to apply for the YES program.

Thailand-An alumni presenter actively engages with a group of attentive students in a spacious auditorium with them sitting on the ground

8. In Nan Province, Thailand, five alumni, in partnership with the Teach For Thailand Alumni Network, organized a youth leadership camp at Bo Kluea School for 50 high school students from the Lua and Mlabri ethnic minority communities. Alumni shared about their U.S. experiences as exchange alumni, providing the students with a global perspective and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity. (Photo right)