YES Programs




Gulshan Jubaed Prince

By Gulshan Jubaed Prince (YES 2010-2011, Bangladesh, placed by Ayusa in Tupelo, Mississippi)

What are some of your biggest accomplishments since becoming an alumni of the YES program?

Since becoming an alumni of the YES program, I have accomplished many things that I am proud of. After finishing my degree in Computer Science & Engineering in Bangladesh, I pursued a postgraduate program in Blockchain Development in Canada. I worked in the Health Tech Industry and co-founded my own software consultancy startup.

In addition to these professional accomplishments, I have also been actively involved in giving back to my community. Right after returning from the YES program, I co-founded Smallfoot, an organization dedicated to educating and mentoring underprivileged children for a better future by overcoming social barriers. My responsibilities included fundraising, budgeting, and coordinating education programs. I have also coordinated several projects focused on social activism through technology and promoting proper hand washing techniques. One of my most impactful projects was, “Removing Day Darkness using Solar Bottle Bulbs” in 2012, through which we installed 135 solar bottle bulbs in the slums of Dhaka.

I have also been involved with the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN)-Bangladesh as an intern and staff. In this role, I assist with the promotion, recruitment, selection, and training process for outbound students each year. Additionally, I have been actively involved with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Alumni Bangladesh as an Executive Committee Member.

In addition to my community work, I have also received several awards and recognitions. I was a Global Regional Finalist in the Hult Prize in 2015, a winner of the National Hackathon in 2014, and First Runner Up in the Kona Software Lab Ltd. Bytecode Inter University System Design and Development Contest in 2015.

Overall, I am proud of the impact that I have been able to make both professionally and in my community since becoming an alumni of the YES program.

What are some of your favorite memories from the YES program?

Some of my favorite memories from the YES program include the kindness and love shown to me by my host family and teachers. One particularly special memory was when my host mother, who was also a teacher at my school, surprised me by cooking a dish called Khichuri, which I had mentioned on social media that I missed. She had gone to the effort of getting my post translated from Bangla to English, and then figuring out the recipe from another Bengali family.

A Collage Of Photos Including A Snowman The Alum Playing An Instrument And Standing With Flags And Accepting Awards

Another favorite memory was winning the Tupelo High School media contest and receiving a $1,000 prize from the mayor of Tupelo for a public service announcement I created about healthy eating. Seeing my film displayed on the giant screen at the Tupelo Film Festival was an amazing experience. 

I also enjoyed making a documentary on exchange students as my senior thesis project. It was an incredible opportunity to use professional equipment and tools to record interviews with other exchange students, teachers, and host families.

Other favorite memories include going kneeboarding with my host family during the summer, receiving the gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award for my community service at the Tupelo Lee Humane Society and the Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi, and presenting about Bangladesh in my U.S. history class during International Education Week.

Overall, my time in the YES program was filled with unforgettable experiences and memories that I will always cherish.

What are some of the ways you’ve stayed connected to fellow alumni since your exchange experience? What about your host family or friends?

Since my exchange experience, I have stayed connected to fellow alumni through my involvement in YES alumni activities and community service projects. I also worked as an intern and staff member in the YES program office in Bangladesh, which allowed me to stay connected with the program and its alumni.

In addition to staying connected with fellow alumni, I have also kept in touch with my host family and friends from my exchange year. We communicate regularly through Facebook and email, and my host family even visited me in Bangladesh!

Overall, I have made a conscious effort to maintain the connections and relationships that I formed during my exchange experience.

How did the YES program impact you professionally? What about personally?

The YES program had a significant impact on me both professionally and personally. 

Professionally, it helped me develop important skills such as adaptability, tolerance, transparency, and open-mindedness. These skills have been invaluable in my career, allowing me to thrive in new work environments and collaborate effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

Personally, the YES program expanded my network of friends and connections. The world seemed smaller to me after my exchange experience, as I realized that there were so many opportunities to make new connections and learn from others. The program also pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow as a person. I was able to mix with diverse people, explore diverse cultures, and I continue to promote diversity in everything I do.

Overall, the YES program had a profound impact on my personal and professional development.

A Collage Of Photos Including The Alum Winning An Award Speaking At An Event At Community Events And Posing With Fellow Alumni

What is one piece of advice you would give to current or future YES program participants?

One piece of advice I would give to current or future YES program participants is to keep an open mind and take advantage of the many opportunities that will come your way. The YES program presents you with countless chances to gain new experiences, grow out of your comfort zone, and become a leader among your peers. Embrace these opportunities and use them to develop both personally and professionally. And always remember to give back to the community, friends, and family who have supported you along the way.

In 10, 20, or even 30 years, what do you hope the legacy of the YES program will be?

In 10, 20, or even 30 years, I hope that the legacy of the YES program will be one of increased understanding and tolerance. As the alumni network grows, more and more communities will become familiar with the exchange program and its mission. This will help to break down stereotypes and promote greater acceptance of the Muslim population.

I also hope that the YES program will continue to inspire people to explore different cultures and collaborate on a global scale. Giving back to the community will become the norm, as more and more YES alumni use their experiences to make a positive impact in their local communities and beyond.

Overall, I believe that the YES program has the potential to leave a lasting legacy of understanding, collaboration, and positive change.

A Poem Submitting But The Alum Called The World On A String

Read more about Prince's story in our archives.