We are pleased to announce Yazan Odetallah from Jordan as the March YES Student of the Month! Yazan is placed by AFS-USA in Rockville, Maryland, where he attends Barrie School.
Yazan is a natural leader who has blossomed during his time on the YES program. He has dedicated time and attention to other exchange students when they were feeling homesick or needed to feel heard, helping them integrate better and thrive on their exchange program. When he discovered that one of his friends was staying with a temporary family, Yazan intervened and now has an exchange brother with whom he shares a room.
Yazan’s host family says he leaves a lasting impression on everyone he interacts with. Because of Yazan’s leadership and compassion, his school and host community have committed to welcoming more YES exchange students in the future.
Yazan grows more self-assured with every day and has continually taken every opportunity to expand his horizons. He represents himself and his country with dignity and diplomacy and enthusiastically teaches others about his culture. Yazan is always seeking volunteer opportunities and has already completed 155 community service hours across Maryland and Washington, DC, most recently volunteering at a local food bank.
Yazan’s passion for his home country is also evident in the kitchen. Yazan enjoys cooking Jordanian foods for dinner with both his host family and his friends, during which they learn about each other’s culture.
Yazan also excels academically, and he is a dedicated member of his school community. Yazan has been invited to participate in Congress of Future Medical Professionals and to a Chemistry Honors Program. He is a member of his school's math and improv clubs and gets out of his comfort zone by singing during community arts nights at his school.
Yazan’s goal for the remainder of his program is to continue helping people in need and to be a great role model for future exchange students hosted in this host community, and he is certainly doing just that.