The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program provides scholarships for high school students (ages 15-18) from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the United States. The Kennedy-Lugar YES Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, was established by Congress in response to the events of September 11, 2001.
The YES program’s initiative is to build bridges of international understanding between the U.S. and countries that participate in the YES program. Students who participate in YES engage in activities to learn more about American society and values and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures.
Although the focus is to learn and create understanding between Americans and those from predominately Muslim populations, YES students reflect a wide range of socioeconomic, cultural and religious affiliations, including people with disabilities. YES participants are selected based on a variety of indicators, including an evaluation of their personal qualities, such as adaptability, leadership potential and motivation for intercultural experience. Upon returning home, YES students become involved in a wide variety of activities in their communities such as volunteering, orienting future YES students, organizing peer mediation workshops and starting small student cooperatives. During their school year in America, they learn to initiate and take part in activities to better their communities.
Learn more about hosting a YES student by contacting us at (800) 322-4678 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.