YES Programs



Learn English from Scratch

Marwa at the front of a classroom of children

By: Marwa Kriraa (YES 2022-2023, Morocco, placed by American Councils in Honolulu, HI)

During my YES experience, I learned that I can contribute to the betterment of my community, even as a young person. Volunteering with local organizations in Hawaii taught me so much and I wanted to do something in my hometown that would benefit my community. I realized that the lack of language education in my town contributes to young people’s struggle to secure a quality life after graduation. I wanted to address this need.

For me, learning English was empowering. It opened new doors, unlocked my passions, and created a path to achieve my dreams. I wanted to create a program that would facilitate job readiness and teach life skills such as communication and confidence. I designed the Learn English from Scratch (LEFS) program to teach English and soft skills to kids. I hosted the workshop at my local youth center and taught free classes once a week.

I am proud of the workshop’s success, with about 50 boys and girls attending the sessions. Students enthusiastically asked questions and voiced their aspirations to study abroad and contribute to their communities. I shared my struggles to learn English and my experience as an exchange student, which motivated the participants to take their learning seriously and not give up on their goals. The students aspire to speak English as well as I do and study abroad in America, which is deeply touching. I am so grateful that I was able to create this program because of my experience as a YES alumna.