YES Programs



Living my American Dream

YES student, Felicia, standing with her host family at the airport. All four people are wearing masks.

By Felicia Aldiyani (YES 2021-2022, Indonesia, placed by PAX in Anacortes, WA)

Hi, my name is Felicia Aldiyani from Indonesia. I want to share a story about my first impression of stepping into a country that has been my dream since childhood. Shock — that was the first thing that I felt, seeing all the differences, starting from the weather, clothes, way of eating, rules, attitudes, communication, perspective, culture, language and so much more. I know that's why I came here — to see and adapt amid all those differences. 

Felicia and her host sister standing on top of a cliff looking over a view of lakes and trees.
Felicia and her host sister

Right now, I really see the other side of this world. Away from the noise of the city, I see the other side of America, manage all my expectations, and live this dream. My host family always takes me to explore many things and see the natural beauty that God has created. They also always remind us that money can't buy happiness. We eat the same dishes, in the same places, but in different ways and I enjoy these differences. In this first week, I learned not to compare other people's happiness with my own and learned to build a wall of my happiness, and I became very grateful for the amazing people that God sent to me. I am ready to face all the challenges ahead in the next 10 months, seeing America from a wider perspective, and meeting even more diverse people. I hope that my story can inspire others because, like what my host dad said, "If we don't do anything, then we won't earn anything".