YES Programs



Scaredy Cat

Sidrah holding a small brown dog in front of a backdrop from the Wizard of Oz

By: Sidrah Bagbag (YES 2023-2024, Saudi Arabia, placed by Ayusa in Portland, OR)

When I was younger, my biggest fear wasn’t heights, snakes or spiders. It was dogs and cats. I used to be so scared of them that when a cat walked by on the street, I’d look away. I never expected to pet a dog or hold a cat, but the YES program is teaching me to face my fears.

I’m learning that dogs and cats aren’t as scary as I thought. I was scared because I was unfamiliar with them, and I never gave them the chance. The dog meet and greet at the DC Orientation helped me so much to feel more comfortable. The dogs’ owners were so kind and gave me tips and techniques on how to approach a dog. My host family also has two cats, whom I have come to love being around and cuddling with.

This has inspired me to try things that I was scared to do before. Maybe they won’t be as scary as I think! I am terrified to join the wrestling team, but I am also so excited to try this new thing that might actually turn out to be a fun experience.