YES Programs



Mission Impossible

Youssef participating in the longjump track event

By Youssef Belhaj (YES 2023-2024, Morocco, placed by World Link in Kenton, OH)

Ramadan has always seemed like an easy month at home in Morocco, but this year, it felt like an immense obstacle. It was at times difficult to spend Ramadan away from my home and family. At the same time, Ramadan was full of joy this year. I was proud to share my culture and traditions with my friends and host family. Some of my friends even tried to fast with me! It was very fulfilling and satisfying to explain the whys and hows of Ramadan to them.

During Ramadan, I also managed to maintain my participation in all the new extracurricular activities I am a part of. Although it was hard, I powered through basketball games and track practices throughout Ramadan. I wanted to prove to myself that I could get over this hurdle. There were times that I wanted to quit, but I stuck with it and participated in the 200m, 4x200m, 4x400m, and the mile (1600m) races with my track team.

I am proud that I managed to push my limits and run until my last breath. For me, this is what the YES program means – to expand my boundaries and represent my country!