YES Programs



Innovations for a Better Future

Lamis Barkia 20 Ifit

Three Tunisian YES alumni, Adam Ajroudi, Lamis Barkia, and Rihem Sassi, participated in Iowa State University’s Innovation Fellows in Training (I-FiT) Competitions. This series of competitions supports young adults who plan to develop creative strategies to solve social issues. There were several challenges in the competition, including the School of the Future Challenge and the Start Something Challenge. Lamis and Rihem participated in a project together while Adam participated with a different team.

Lamis writes about her experience participating in the competition with her teammate Rihem:

“We went through intensive training to learn how to change perspectives, connect with others, and how to put forth a solid idea that can solve a real problem. Through our motivation, we stood out from 68 other groups of young entrepreneurs. For our project, Vision Up, we want to address the lack of career counseling for students who are trying to navigate their professional trajectories. As an online platform, Vision Up will help link students with opportunities and resources in their career field through internships and job shadowing opportunities. Vision Up, will also support the eighth and tenth U.N. Sustainable Development Goals which are ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and ‘Reduced Inequalities’, respectively. We pitched a video that shared a detailed plan for Vision Up and we were thrilled that our project was awarded the Popular Vote Prize.”

Rihem Sassi 20 Ifit

Adam competed in the School of the Future Challenge, where he focused on how to improve school structures in a team with four peers. With his teammates, Adam thought of innovations for modern-day education and proposed how these adaptions should be applied to schools worldwide. These innovations included ways to teach emotional intelligence, technological literacy, and diversity awareness. Adam shares his experience:  

“When I chose to participate in the School of the Future Challenge, an intense flow of ideas raced through my mind. I’ve observed many flaws in education systems and have always believed that schools are the key to fixing major problems in society. This competition allowed me to unleash my design thinking skills and tackle modern-day problems through creative innovation. I discussed the main aspects of the project with my teammates, and then I drew the storyboards to describe our education proposals. After filming the shots and writing the script, I edited the video. After submitting the video, the judgment committee announced the winners and we won two prizes: By Review and By Popular Vote.” 

By participating in this competition, the three YES alumni hope to inspire young people in Tunisia and around the world to take advantage of every opportunity they find. 

Adam Ajroudi 20 Ifit

Adam Ajroudi (YES 2019-2020, Tunisia, placed by AFS in Redwood, CA)

Lamis Barkia (YES 2019-2020, Tunisia, placed by YFU in Wichita, KS)

Rihem Sassi (YES 2019-2020, Tunisia, placed by ACES in Harrisburg, SD)