YES Programs



My Experience with Civic Education Workshop

Aziz standing next to a powerpoint reading thank you

By Abdulaziz Alkhalid (YES 2009-2010, Saudi Arabia, placed by AFS-USA in Richmond, IN)

I had a great experience serving as a mentor for Civic Education Workshop! A highlight of my week was speaking to my esteemed colleagues at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. I shared the transformative year I had at my American high school, the impactful initiatives I’ve led as an alum, and my current career ambitions. I also told them how being an ambassador at a young age influenced my life’s trajectory. My words were met with open ears and inspiring discussion.

I also had the privilege to speak to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges Nicole Elkon. She shared insights from her breadth and depth of experience and extended her appreciation to us alumni for our role as exemplars of diplomacy.

I also met with Ambassador Greta Holtz, CEO of Amideast, whose distinguished career in the Middle East sets a profound example for the YES alumni network. Our conversation left me excited for what’s ahead for Saudi YES alumni and beyond.

Reflecting on my CEW experience, I’m reminded of the power of stories and the bridges they build between us. In sharing my personal journey, I found a meaningful connection with leaders who affirmed my path and filled me with enthusiasm for the future.