Celebrating the YES Program’s 20th Anniversary

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, and celebration is due. In the two decades since it was created by order of Congress in the aftermath of 9/11, the program has become a model for effective people-to-people diplomacy.
YES Alumni from Jordan

Amideast is proud to be a member of the YES Consortium, a team of five organizations that administer the YES program as Recruiting Organizations on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Amideast has been a partner from the very first year of YES, recruiting nearly 4,000 students from the MENA to date. Amideast is currently responsible for YES program promotion and recruitment in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the West Bank/Gaza, and previously also recruited YES students in Algeria, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Syria, and Yemen. In addition, Amideast hosts U.S. students for a year-long YES Abroad experience in Jordan and Morocco.

With our support, the YES program provides a life-changing experience that leads to new educational and economic opportunities. For many YES alumni, the experience continues after they return home. Amideast facilitates the long-term impact of YES by organizing YES alumni activities in active program countries and hosting regional and global events with the YES Consortium. Alumni connections ease the transition for returnees to life back home, and they nurture the spirit of volunteerism students were encouraged to develop during their YES year.

Plans are underway to celebrate the YES 20th anniversary throughout 2023. We invite you to join us in this celebration of a program that has made a difference in the lives of its more than 14,000 alumni and the families and communities they touched. We’re proud of the YES alumni and the ripple effect that has emanated from the people-to-people connections this impactful program has fostered.

Watch this page and Amideast social media sites for updates on our YES 20th anniversary celebration!