YES Programs



Sharing Untold Stories

Taif standing in front of a projector and giving a presentation for International Education Week.

By Taif Elmoslmany (YES 2017–2018, Kuwait, placed by PAX in Newberry, MI)

Many alumni describe the YES program as a life-changing experience since they leave everything familiar to embark on a new adventure. As YES students, they often figure out who they are and what they want to do for the rest of their lives. My experience is no exception.

While growing up, I didn’t know what my life’s purpose would be. I was always confused about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My answer would change based on what TV show I was watching at the time. I dreamed of being a princess, a mad scientist, or a police officer. I soon realized that none of these options were obtainable career goals. Therefore, I decided to be an engineer. Even though I was not passionate about engineering, I knew it was a respectful job and that I would make a good living. However, I remember the exact day I figured out my life’s goal. 

Taif in front of a group of students in a classroom giving a presentation and answering questions.

The moment happened in Mr. Griffis’ American History class during International Education Week. I was presenting about Kuwait and a student asked me to share a story from Kuwaiti folklore. I proceeded to tell a few tales that I heard growing up, and I realized how much I loved presenting about my culture. After that moment, I included Kuwaiti folklore as a regular part of my presentations. Finally, I had discovered what I wanted to do.

I want to share untold stories from different cultures. Therefore, I decided to pursue a degree in Media with a minor in Languages. After graduating, I plan to become a documentary director to show the world Kuwaiti culture and highlight underrepresented cultures.