YES is highlighting an alum from each year of the program.
We are excited to announce Hina Rehman from Pakistan as the February YES Student of the Month! Hina is placed by AFS-USA in Berkeley, CA, where she attends Berkeley High School.
Hina’s enthusiasm for volunteerism and helping others has made a deep and lasting impact on her host family, school, and host community. Shortly after arriving in Berkeley, she participated in the International Coastal Cleanup with her host family, a project that felt particularly important to her after she learned that her host sister frequents the beach for high school rowing practices. She volunteered to paint children’s faces at the middle school fall fair, helped weed and mulch at a habitat restoration project, and now volunteers at a library after school several days a week. Hina prioritizes the needs of others and always thinks about ways in which she can be helpful.
Hina has taken a special interest in climate change during her time in the United States. After Pakistan was beset by flooding last fall, she became interested in learning the science behind flooding and what can be done about it. Hina is determined to work on a climate change related project when she returns to Pakistan.
As an eager cultural ambassador, Hina is enthusiastic about both sharing her own culture and experiencing American culture. She says yes to every opportunity and is always happy to answer questions. She gave seven presentations during International Education Week, despite feeling a bit nervous before the events. When she saw how engaged her audience was, asking questions and providing positive feedback, she realized how enjoyable it is to share her culture, and felt proud to represent Pakistan and the YES Program.
Hina’s host mother said, “Hina is unwaveringly patient, loving, and considerate. She has demonstrated maturity and perseverance to get through some events that were difficult for her. We've talked about Pakistani politics, food, school, leisure time, dress, holidays, gender roles, families, names, vacations, music, medicine, sports, pets... She has a wonderful, open, friendly personality and is happy to share, and I’ve learned so much from hosting her.” Hina’s host mother said that Hina is endlessly supportive and added that the family is grateful to be hosting a student like her.
When asked what her goal is for the remainder of the program, Hina said that she wants to make unforgettable memories with her host family and friends and try new things that she might not get the opportunity to do in Pakistan. She is focused on community service and learning lessons she can apply once she returns home.
Hina is an excellent representative of the YES Program. Congratulations, Hina!