"I used to think about problems only in my local point of view, without consideration to other cultures, probably because I did not know much about them. But at YYGS, that changed as I also thought about problems that other cultures faced."
Adham from Egypt
"Be ready to pay for being unique." This was what my research supervisor told me when I was upset about the inability to launch a science fair at my school.
I'm Adham from Egypt. I live in a rural town in Egypt, and my school is a traditional Egyptian community. I desired to discover my passions, and pursue them in a valuable community of friends and students. A community that was not as traditional as my school. Why? Because I always thought that a community is what I need to be fulfilled. Being a part of a friendly community was, thus, the ideal situation. Since then, I started to look for that community.
My journey to find the best community for me started with joining community service activities, computer clubs, etc. However, I always find that all of my pursuits was missing an important part, but I could not figure out what that was.
Taking a deep breath, I waited for the moment in which I would realize what was missing.
On March 28, after doing my chemistry homework, I went to check my email. I found that a decision update had been added to my YYGS application. I logged into my application portal, waited for it to load, and voila! I got accepted to YYGS with a full-tuition scholarship, but without travel costs! It was amazing to realize that I was going to discover that community that I already knew would satistfy my passions. YYGS is the ideal community of students from all over the world. After a couple of minutes, I received another email saying that I got another travel costs scholarship – Yale Young Leaders Scholarship. I only remember that I was not able to sleep a wink after this moment. I was super excited about what was waiting for me at Yale.
On the first day at YYGS in the welcome room, it was my first time meeting people from different countries than my own. We do not have the opportunity to see different cultures in Egypt, and I needed and wanted to begin to pay attention to a diverse community. YYGS allowed me to see the world differently. I used to think about problems only in my local point of view, without consideration to other cultures, probably because I did not know much about them. But at YYGS, that changed as I also thought about problems that other cultures faced. I also contributed to exciting projects and activities with people from these different cultures. That was fascinating, as I learned more about others while working with them.
Some people claim that there is no chance to learn something within a program that spans only two weeks, but I disagree. YYGS exemplifies what a time-intensive life experience means. I learned a lot about Entrepreneurship and Social Development, worked on capstone projects, did a simulation model, all in only two weeks. Additionally, I made genuinely lovely friends who I still am close to. Some of them are working in my fields of interest, and we are working on some projects together even after YYGS.
When I think about my time at YYGS, I always remember that one moment when my team and I presented our capstone project on Chicago. Everyone was excited about solving such a problem concerning the dropout rates in Chicago's high schools. I felt that I was doing something precious, and enjoying at the same time.
In addition to this, YYGS was a reason to love the American college lifestyle. From what I had read about it, I wassure that I was not going to like it that much, but without such an experience, I would never have been proven wrong. My experience at an American college through YYGS is my most important reason as to why I am applying to US colleges this year.
It is clear that YYGS is not an experience that is independent and away from my life before the program. Being in this international community helped me to spread the idea of the Hack Club community. As the founder of the Egyptian branch of this club, at YYGS I found the best group of peers to talk about this club to.
In conclusion, YYGS was the best experience of my entire life. It taught me so much in a short period, and I wish I can have this experience again in my college. I'm going to tell everyone about it. They must have the experience of Simulation models, capstone projects, seminars, lectures, tasty food, and SUITE CHECK!