Brand new YES student, Taha, writes about the steps it took to get him to the U.S. this month, and what he hopes to accomplish over the next year.
By: Taha Frefir (YES 2018 - 2019, Libya, hosted by Ayusa in San Antonia, TX)
Two years ago, I heard about a program which aims to spread cultures through youth, so I asked myself, “Why not apply?!”. The only thing I was thinking of is to get to know the U.S. better, but, unfortunately, I did not pass the first step of the program, which is the SLEP English test. Failing the test was such a shock, and to top it off, it was a difficult year in general for me. However, that did not keep me from wanting to try again.
At the end of 2017, the program opened its doors looking for participants. I filled out the application hoping that I would get accepted and be one of the mini ambassadors of Libya this year. I was invited to the general information session with my parents and I was quite excited but anxious at the same time. Fortunately, my family was very supportive. I definitely would not have been where I am today, a YES student who is about to embark on a life changing experience, without them. For me, the YES experience had already begun the minute I filled out the preliminary application. Every step of the way was making me anxious but also, it was bringing me one step closer to my dream!
I will never forget all the friends that I made through selection. I was sad to see them go, but that is life. I hope to be able to make a change in my country, Libya ,and also, my host country, the U.S. The YES program has already pushed me discover things and improve myself, and that is only the beginning. On the long term, I want to make a difference in the community I live in, help people, build my character and become more independent.
To new experiences, ones that I can share with my children and their children!