Washington-Lee High School sophomore Abby Lewis has been awarded a YES Abroad scholarship for the 2017-18 school year. Lewis will live with a host family and study in the Philippines for the next academic year.
Lewis is one of only 60 students selected competitively from across the United States who will receive a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to participate in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad program. The merit-based award covers the full cost of an academic year abroad, providing Lewis a full academic and cultural immersion, including living with a host family in the Philippines, attending a local high school, and helping her develop the skills necessary to be a leader in the global community. The YES Abroad program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Through Lewis’s participation in the YES Abroad program, she will be at the forefront of citizen diplomacy, serving as a “youth ambassador” in her host country, enhancing cross-cultural understanding and deepening trust by building lasting relationships with her host family and peers, and engaging in volunteer service and leadership training to help her host community. Through the YES Abroad experience, Lewis will be developing the skills to share American values, find new ways for America to compete effectively in the global marketplace, and contribute to a more peaceful world.
The Kennedy-Lugar YES program was first authorized by the U.S. Congress in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001, as an effort to increase dialogue and mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of countries with significant Muslim populations. Initially created as a program for international high school students to live and study in the United States, the YES program was expanded in 2009 to include YES Abroad for American high school students. For the 2017-18 academic year, YES Abroad provides opportunities for Americans to study for one academic year in twelve diverse countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal, and Thailand.
YES Abroad is administered by a consortium of non-profit organizations, including American Councils for International Education, AFS-USA, AMIDEAST, and iEARN-USA. Exchanges taking place in the Philippines are administered by AFS. AFS is a worldwide, nonprofit organization that has been a leader in international exchange for more than 60 years. Visit www.afsusa.org for more information on studying abroad, hosting an exchange student, or bringing intercultural learning into the classroom.