With a growing youth bulge, Africa is set to be the continent at the helm of greatness through its young population. African youths thus have to be provided with the resources and platforms to move the continent to greatness. Enter the Yale Young Scholar Program…
300 of Africa’s most talented scholars were chosen to come and be a part of the empowering, one of a kind Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) 2017 program. The academic and leadership program which had sessions in Ghana, Rwanda and Zimbabwe saw three hundred intelligent students selected from 24 African countries get invaluable exposure to diverse cultures across the continent, amazing presentations from game changers across Africa as well as the university admission process for both Africa and the USA.
The highly anticipated program also included engaging life skills workshops, inspiring mentorship sessions, leadership skills presentations and collaborative learning opportunities with a vision to inspire the young scholars to realise their potential and become the transformative leaders that Africa needs to maximise its greatness.
Apart from the interdisciplinary academic curriculum and life changing exposure to university admission processes, the experience was one the students will never forget.
“Having never flown alone, nor been immersed in such a diverse mixture of cultures and personalities, YYAS rightfully claims its position as one of the most unique, enriching opportunities I’ve had the fortune to be a part of.”- Fares Burwag student from Libya.
“The best 7 days of my life started the moment I said, ‘Hi, my name is Isabel but you guys can call me Bella’.”- Isabel Masawi student from Zimbabwe.
Students not only embarked on a challenging intellectual experience but also on a transformational journey that challenged who they were and their view of the world around them.
“I can see these things go even beyond the goals of the program. That is, the experience has now had an impact on our personalities, our perspective to the world and our role within it. Now I think I am more mature, tolerable and thoughtful of our continents’ potential. That impact may seem small, but I have learnt that It begins with me, It begins with you, It begins with all of us.” – Mahmoud Haroun a student from Egypt.
The rich cultural diversity also allowed many students to get a glimpse into Africa and its issues.
“In 7 days I travelled to 24 different African nations including places as far as Egypt, Libya, Algeria to name a few. To most of you this sounds impossible but this is totally possible at YYAS. A place where you get to visit the whole continent in one place.” – Isabel Masawi student from Zimbabwe.
“It was inspiring to have such exposure to the different backgrounds and cultures of our different countries. It was a chance to interact and meet people with a similar mindset as mine,” added Mahmoud Haroun from Egypt.
The young scholars also had the amazing opportunity to meet and interact with industry experts and influencers face to face and get tips and tactics on how to grow their passions and further their dreams through a good university education and resilience.
“The exposure I got from the international universities I went to absolutely makes a difference. The university you go to will determine what type of opportunities you will have, the kind of friends you will have for life and the companies you will work for,” articulated Natalie Jabangwe Morris the General Manager, EcoCash.
“Our speakers came from all walks of life, CEO’s, politicians and lectures which enabled us to view life from all angles,” expressed Isabel Masawi who attended the Harare session at Arundel School.
The Yale Young African Scholars Program is made possible through the partnership with Higherlife Foundation (HLF) to train and mentor the next generation of African student leaders.