"I have never felt so confident in my abilities and the power of my voice."

Alexis Sher

Simply calling Yale Young Global Scholars a “summer program” would not do it justice: YYGS was a two-week experience that changed my life. Three months later, I now see how much of an impact International Affairs and Security (IAS) had on my thriving interest in international human rights and national security. The professors and students alike were not only brilliant, but also motivated, inspiring, and kind. YYGS gave me the world in one courtyard of students from over 100 countries. Our community gained the tools to take steps towards change through interactive lectures and seminars from counterterrorism strategies to the Cold War.

As someone who voices her perspective proudly, I have found that there are not many people who believe in the power of the teenage voice. For the first time in my life, at YYGS, the professors and directors looked at each of us and said, “You are the future. You are the leaders who are responsible to make a change”. I have never felt so confident in my abilities and the power of my voice.

Every participant contributed a unique quality to our community, whether it was presidential candidate interpretations or slam poetry. We brought a culmination of cultures, interests, perspectives, and most importantly, came together as one community that embraced this incredible diversity. Even meals were eye opening. One of my fondest memories at YYGS is the late nights laughing with my suit-mates until our stomachs hurt. I roomed with six girls from Brazil to Zambia to Italy; we marked almost every spot on the map. Saying these girls were the kindest, most intelligent, and welcoming people I have ever met would be an understatement. We still talk every day! The academic challenges pushed me to think more globally and recognize my capacity to learn, but my friendships pushed me to be a better person. Often in a competitive environment, academic life becomes more of a competition than collaboration. What set the YYGS participants apart from others is that we always applauded each other. We cheered, clapped, and shouted out with pride for the accomplishments of our peers.

I didn’t want to leave our YYGS bubble that somehow fit the world inside of it. We had an insatiable appetite to learn about the world and its differences. My Yale Young Global Scholars experience made me confident that I want to spend my next four years at Yale, because as an institution and community, they believe in the power of my voice and recognize my passion for global change.

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