Photo: Adnan (left) holds the Fulbright logo with a fellow scholar in Chicago, IL
By: Adnan Djeffal (YES 2005 – 2006, Algeria, hosted by Aspect Foundation in Oakland, OR)
I was accepted into the YES program in 2005 for a one year exchange at Oakland High School in Oregon. The program benefited me personally and professionally as I got to foster long-lasting relationships, learn about civic engagement, and youth empowerment. After the year ended, I went back to Algeria with two main goals – to volunteer, and to focus on education so I can pursue an advanced degree in the United States.
For my first goal, I dedicated my free time for many years to helping disadvantaged families and kids with numerous associations operating in Algeria. And then, in 2014 I was granted a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master of Science in Geophysics at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.
The Fulbright experience was life changing on many levels. I conducted research under a professor who is at the top of his field, published research in one of the biggest geophysics conferences in the world, expanded my network, and got to visit many parts of the US.
After my Fulbright ended, I headed to New Zealand to pursue a PhD in Geology at the University of Auckland. Eight months into my PhD, I received the New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship, which aims to attract the best international researchers.
I went from an exchange student to receiving two prestigious scholarships, all thanks to the YES program.
Photos, left to right: Adnan with the group of Algerian YES students in Washington, DC in 2005; Announcement that Adnan won a prestigious doctoral research scholarship in New Zealand.