U.S. Ambassador Urges Returning Yemeni High School Exchange Students to Make the Most of their Year in the United States

SANA’A – U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew H. Tueller welcomed home a group of Yemeni high school exchange students while urging them to continue their education and contribute to building a better Yemen.

“The Americans you encountered no doubt learned a great deal from you about Yemen,” Ambassador Tueller said. “I hope that you will likewise apply what you learned in the United States towards building a better Yemen.”

The meeting, which included 16 young Yemenis who participated in the year-long U.S. government-sponsored Kennedy-Luger Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, provided an opportunity for the students to discuss their impressions of the United States directly with the Ambassador.

“You’ve had an opportunity to expand your horizons both inside and out of the classroom as well as meet new friends that will result in lifelong friendships,” Ambassador Tueller told the students.  “We are grateful for the contribution you made in strengthening ties between the United States and Yemen.”

The YES program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), provides scholarships for secondary school students aged 15-17 to spend one academic year in the United States. The students, who hail largely from the Middle East, spend up to one academic year in the U.S. where they live with host families, attend high school, learn about American society, and acquire leadership skills. At the same time, they educate their American counterparts about their countries and cultures.

The Kennedy-Luger Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program was established by the U.S. Congress to foster cross-cultural awareness and promote dialogue.  Yemen has participated in the YES program since its inception in 2002; there are currently 186 YES alumni in Yemen.

For additional information about the YES program, including criteria for host families, please visit http://yesprograms.org/.