To celebrate IEW (November 14-18), two YES students placed in Port Angeles, Washington gave a joint presentation about their countries to the Soroptimist International of Port Angeles (SIPA) on Friday, November 18. This organization, the first chapter in the Olympic Peninsula, seeks to improve the lives of women and girls and provide services to their town and the surrounding area.
UNESCO's International Literacy Day was September 8. In support of this, the Cameroon YES Alumni Association (CYAA) organized "Books For All Kids" on September 30. Atem Nkeng-Asong (2013-14 YES-Cameroon/Pueblo, CO) was an integral part of this initiative, which took place in his community of Dschang. This event collected books for underprivileged students at a local bilingual school. Atem spoke eloquently about the importance of increasing literacy and English language proficiency amongst schoolchildren.
Language Camp Students Learn About American Culture
Each year, a small number of students from the FLEX program attend a two-week English Language Camp (called “LP Camp”) in Alabama in early August before moving to their permanent U.S. host communities. These students are designated as needing some additional English language instruction based on their English language test scores. This year, LP Camp welcomed five students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
International Education Week took place this year from November 16-20. We are so proud of our 2015-2016 students, who went above and beyond our requirements! Thanks to your hard work, which included over 400 presentations during the month of November, over 15,700 people in your host communities throughout the U.S. experienced the cultural enrichment of IEW. While Ayesha from Pakistan made the most presentations--20 during the week of IEW--17% of our students made more than 3 presentations.
FLEX Student Hosts Russian Poetry/Literature Night
2014-2015 FLEX-Russia student Yekaterina Sysoyeva hosted "An Evening of Russian Poetry" at Calvert Library, Twin Beaches Branch in Calvert, MD. She collaborated with Megan Timmens, Public Services Librarian at the branch, who also hosted a FLEX student (from Kazakhstan), to create a program of Ancient to Modern poetry. She selected several of the poems and worked with Megan to get additional readers for the event.
YES Alumni Share Their Experiences As Global Citizens
Recently, the YES program debuted "Global Citizen's Journey" at a YESTalks event in Tunis modeled after the popular TED Talks format. Twelve alumni of the YES program shared their journal from YES students to active alumni.
From the Archives: American Councils Host Families Share Their Experiences
From the archives: American Councils host families speak about the long-term impact of hosting on their families and on their communities in this Huffington Post article. In the words of one of our returning host families: "You can do it! You will never forget the school year these students spend with you. It is so exciting to greet them, and so sad to see them go.
We are pleased to share the winning essay for our 2015 "My American Experience" Essay Contest! For this contest, we asked our 2014-2015 A-SMYLE, Cultural Bridges, ExCEL, FLEX, and YES students to write about the role leadership has played in their exchange year. We received many submissions, and it was not easy to pick our winner. Congratulations, Khaoula!