YES Programs



November YES Student of the Month

Youssef smiling on a farm with his arms spread while snow falls

We are pleased to announce Youssef Belhaj from Morocco as November’s Student of the Month! Youssef is placed by World Link in Kenton, Ohio, where he attends Ridgemont High School.

Upon starting high school this fall, Youssef joined the football team and FFA club, focused on leadership and agriculture, and he is learning to play the trombone. Youssef enjoys his course work and makes excellent grades. Using his new knowledge of American football, he helps officiate junior high football games and his school’s Powder Puff game alongside his teammates. As an FFA member, he served as a soil judge, analyzed different types of soil for texture and drainage, and sold homegrown mums to raise funds. Youssef led 3rd grade students on a field trip to learn about agriculture through the FFA’s Farm to Fork event. He was recognized for his impact on the school by being elected to homecoming court. During International Education Week, Youssef presented to every Agriculture Science class, reaching nearly 90% of his peers. He included samples of Moroccan tea, wrote attendees’ names in Arabic, and gave out a prize for his Kahoot quiz winners.

Youssef dressed in traditional Moroccan clothes giving an IEW presentation

Immediately upon arriving to Kenton, Youssef embraced the spirit of trying new things and volunteerism. He set up voting machines around Hardin County for a special election; sold concessions during school sporting events; served food at and did grounds clean-up at the Hardin County Fair; and picked up trash in the community.

Youssef and his host father have a close relationship, full of jokes and laughter. Together, they started getting Christmas lights ready for the Lake of Lights, a holiday lighting event in December to benefit local charities. Since his arrival, he has completed over 60 hours of volunteer service.

Youssef has immersed himself in U.S. culture and is embracing the opportunities his exchange year has to offer. Congratulations to Youssef, our YES November Student of the Month!