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From Senegal to Ohio: The Impact of YES on Khaby

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Khaby Ba (YES 2015-2016, Senegal, placed with AFS-USA in Cleveland Heights, OH) is an outstanding YES alumna who was placed in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH for her YES program year in the U.S. She says of her experience, “So far, I’ve spent the best year of my life in the US. While there, I gained a lot of knowledge that is coming handy every day and I even met amazing new people.”

During her exchange year, Khaby was placed as a high school senior and was involved in many extracurricular activities, such as sports and the AFS club. Through these clubs, she made friends that she hung out with on the weekends. She was also given the opportunity to visit several states, like Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, with her host mom. By the end of the year, she graduated with honors and was among the top 25 students in her class!

When Khaby returned to Senegal, she worked towards finishing her high school education and also took part in community service activities with her fellow YES alumni. She adds, “Together, we held many activities, like school rehabilitation and blood drives. I remember this one blood drive being very successful.” 

In 2018, Khaby graduated with her high school diploma in Senegal with honors. She then applied to and got accepted for a scholarship with the Moroccan government to study there. With the help of this scholarship, Khaby is furthering her education at a university in Morocco, where she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering at one of their best engineering schools. 

With the first year of university under her belt, Khaby decided to use her experience to give back to her peers. She said, “In 2019, as suggested by my lovely aunt, I decided to help YES alumni who graduated with honors pursue the same opportunities as me.”

With Khaby’s help, two YES alumni, Mouhamed Moustapha Sane Guisse (YES 2016-2017, Senegal, placed with PAX in Markle, IN) and Mouhamadou Mourtalla Mbacke (YES 2016-2017, Senegal, placed with American Councils in Willsboro, NY), were also accepted to Moroccan universities through the same scholarship that she had received. In commenting on this opportunity, Khaby added, “I hope that for the upcoming years more YES alumni will benefit from the scholarships.”


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