Islamabad, June 18, 2015 – U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Thomas Williams greeted 108 returning scholars of the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program who spent an academic year in the United States.
DCM Williams underscored the importance of strong, direct ties between the people of the United States and Pakistan. “The United States and Pakistan are working together to secure a safe and prosperous future for both of our great nations. As YES program alumni, you are now part of this effort. I encourage you all to stay connected and devote your time to your studies, but also to making your communities and your country a better place to live and thrive.”
This U.S. government sponsored program brings Pakistani youth, ages 15-17, to live with American host families and to study in American high schools across the country for an academic year. This group was the twelfth cohort of Pakistani students sent to the United States through this program.
Since 2003, 7,700 youth from more than 40 countries have benefitted from the YES program. In Pakistan alone, more than 900 students have participated in the YES program since 2003, accounting for more than 10% of all YES participants worldwide. During their year in the United States, these young people attended classes, labs, and extracurricular programs alongside their American classmates. They also participated in special enrichment activities like community service, youth leadership training, civics education programs, and sports to develop a well-rounded, firsthand understanding of American culture. The students served as cultural ambassadors for Pakistan, delivering presentations on Pakistani culture at their schools and other institutions in their American host communities.
As DCM Williams welcomed home the alumni, a new group of 108 Pakistani students are preparing to leave for their academic year in the United States for the 2015-2016 academic year.
For more information about this educational opportunity, including the application process and highlight stories from YES alumni, please visit http://www.iearnpk.org/yespk.htm. International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) Pakistan is the U.S. Embassy’s local administrator of the YES program.