American Ambassador David Hale on Tuesday met with 50 Pakistani alumni of the U.S. government-funded Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, along with 77 students who will soon depart to participate in the program. Since 2004 more than 900 outstanding Pakistani high school students 15-17 years of age have participated in the year-long YES academic exchange, which includes studying at a U.S. high school, living with a U.S. host family, and completing community service activities. During the program, the Ambassador congratulated both groups of students on their academic accomplishments. In Pakistan, the program is administered with the support of iEARN Pakistan.
“You all capture the purpose of these exchanges – bringing together people, ideas, and cultures to create a better tomorrow,” Ambassador Hale told YES participants. “The Embassy team could not be prouder of your achievements, and it is clear that friendships between Pakistanis and Americans will grow thanks to you.”
“Since its beginning, the YES Program in Pakistan has helped develop a phenomenal group of Pakistani youth ambassadors, who are making a difference in their local and international communities, in addition to becoming extraordinary professionals,” said iEARN Pakistan Country Director Farah Kamal.
During the program, recently returned YES alumni shared their experiences in the United States with the new cohort of departing students, highlighting the opportunity to participate in community service and extracurricular activities.
Izaan Aamir, who spent a year in Port Orchard, Washington, told the students, “The YES program made me a confident person with a vision and mission to work towards the betterment of others.”
To learn more about applying for the YES Program, please visit: https://yespk.org/. To learn more about U.S. education initiatives in Pakistan, visit pk.usembassy.gov.