ISLAMABAD – Pakistani alumni of the U.S. Government-funded Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program shared what they learned about American schools and culture with 75 students from all across Pakistan who will soon depart for the year-long YES academic exchange in the United States.
During a reentry seminar and pre-departure orientation in Islamabad, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Pratt congratulated both the returning and outgoing YES students on their academic accomplishments.
“The United States has a long tradition of embracing international students and celebrating the diversity that they bring to our schools and our country,” Chargé d’Affaires Pratt told YES participants. “In fact, the U.S. Embassy sends approximately 1,000 Pakistanis to the United States each year on a range of academic and professional exchange programs.”
More than 900 Pakistani students have participated since 2004 in the YES program, which is administered with the support of iEARN Pakistan.
“Through the YES program, young Pakistanis gain leadership skills, a dedication to community service, and critical thinking abilities that will serve them and their nation well in the future,” said iEARN Pakistan Country Director Farah Kamal.
During the reentry seminar and pre-departure orientation, 2016-2017 YES alumni shared their U.S. experiences with the 2017-2018 cohort of YES students, emphasizing the opportunity to participate in community service and extracurricular activities in the United States.
“I gained so much confidence on the YES program. I wasn’t all that confident when I left and now my self-esteem is really high. I feel equipped to bring that change they always talk about. I feel like I can do it now and that’s what YES did for me,” YES Alumna, Dure Nayab said.