YES Programs



Sharing The Experience

Group photo in Bosnia and Herzegovina of participants outside at a recruitment event

Since the start of the new year, the YES Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been hard at work promoting the program for future generations. So far, there have been seven promotional events, including two Instagram takeovers by Alumnae Silma Jahic (2021-2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina placed with ACES in Chico, CA) and Mia Krcum (2021-2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina placed with CIEE in Cato, WI). These Instagram takeovers were hosted on the American Council's BiH Instagram page, where the alumnae held Q&A sessions on the page's stories. Alumni Coordinator Mia also promoted the program on a national T.V. station, TVSA, on March 22 and shared her experiences live.

What makes this year's promotional presentations even more unique is that the alumni were joined by two other programs: the Balkan Language Initiative program participant Ryan Boles and the YES Abroad cohort consisting of five students. Together, they have been going to high schools across Bosnia and Herzegovina, promoting the program and sharing their experiences; the alumnae share their experiences with the alumni community post-exchange, while the rest share glimpses into their lives in the U.S.

Alumna speaking in front of a circle of people

So far, this fantastic team has visited 'Srednja Mješovita Škola' Žepče,' a high school in the town of Žepče, on February 10, where they presented to 35 U.S. Embassy lead LEAD Program participants. On February 23, Silma and Ryan and a part of the YES Abroad cohort presented at 'Mješovita Srednja Škola Travnik' high school. There were 20 participants from Travnik who were also members of the LEAD Program.

"Presenting about the YES Program fills me with pride since I get to interact with eager students who are willing to try their luck by applying. These trips are an amazing opportunity to connect with the YES Abroad students and show them all the beauties of our country," said City Representative Silma Jahic (2021-2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with ACES in Chico, CA) when asked about her thoughts on these excursions and YES Promotions.

Group photo of activity participants sitting inside

On March 22, Ryan and The YES Abroad cohort were joined by Alumnus Toni Bevanda (2016-2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina placed with YFU USA in McCordsville, IN) in presenting to students in American Corner Mostar. YES Abroad participant Benji said, "I've loved our excursions outside of Sarajevo, whether exploring a city or town and learning about its history or presenting to a local school! My favorite part of these trips is chatting with the students afterward; I'm always surprised by how much we have in common and how much they have to say about America. Truly a blessing!"

Having such a rich and diverse set of perspectives is one of the most refreshing things to have happened; despite all of the participants being from the U.S. and the alumni living there, there are still so many beautiful differences we can share and learn from. We continue our exchange experience, even after being home for over a year. I'm sure it will also enrich the YES Abroad cohorts and BLI students' participation experience.