By Ahmed Wafy, YES 2012-2013, Qatar, hosted by AFS in Cumberland, ME
As a YES student, my host family was one of the greatest families I had ever met. They welcomed me into their home and gave me a new life that came with luxury, love, and food! It was healthy food, which is something that they opened my mind to.
Upon my return to Qatar, I became a YES alumnus, which meant that I could travel and do alumni stuff!!!! I participated in the YES Alumni Transformational Leadership Training workshop in Jordan in 2014, and it was a life-changing workshop! I gained a lot of knowledge about conflict resolution and drafting project proposals.
As follow up to the workshop, each participant was required to implement a project with his/her home alumni group. For my project, I thought it would be good to share my new healthy lifestyle with my school classmates and other schools around Qatar. My YES local coordinator supported my project, but he convinced me that this project could go farther and be much bigger. He asked me to do a proposal for a regional YES alumni event. It took a lot of hard work, but with help from the local alumni, the event got approved and was funded by AMIDEAST.
The aim of the conference was to raise the community awareness about the importance of physical activity and healthy nutrition on our body's health and our families. You can watch the full story on YouTube!
As an alumnus I was responsible for ‘Healthy Living for Healthy Families’ initiative in the Middle East for the first year. However, when the new alumni returned from the United States, they continued the tradition by organizing the second annual seminar. I was there for the new alumni at all times to support them and to help them with any difficulty throughout the planning and implementing phases of the seminar.
Just a few weeks ago, I returned from the Alumni Association Leaders Training (AALT) in South Africa, which was a beautiful experience. Currently, I'm working on organizing a Project and Proposal Planning Workshop for the new alumni who are returning from the U.S. The aim of the workshop will be to teach them about project facilitation and mentorship.
Wafy, third from the right, welcomed the new alumni home on June 11, 2016.
In addition to my work as a YES alumnus, I am also following my lifelong dream of becoming a Qatar Airways pilot. I'm almost finished with my core flying phase, which involves flying small Piper Archer 28 airplanes. I'll start my A320 training after the summer, which I am very excited about. Even though this will take up almost all of my time, I will make sure to stay connected to the YES Alumni Association each month.
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