Thursday, January 16, 2020

Breaking Boundaries by Ashwini Brijmohun

Entering a new world, so to say, seemed like a daunting thing to do. It was my first time travelling all by myself. I boarded the airplane heading to Ghana frightened because in a matter of hours, I’d be landing in a country populated by people who all spoke a language I was completely oblivious to. As a matter of fact, none of us, young scholars, were sure what to expect but we all knew that we were about to have the time of our lives and we could hardly wait!

     YYAS is the perfect pre-college programme for any academically talented African teenager who wants to earn college credit, pursue academic interests, explore career opportunities and discover college life. It is sponsored by the Higherlife Foundation which aims to strengthen cross-cultural relations between African countries. With a modicum of supervision and guidelines in place, young scholars are responsible for productively managing their time with minimal supervision, a pre-cursor to college life. And oddly enough, for all of us, we had to overcome the obstacle of not sleeping past our alarm clocks!

     Certainly, the workload was strenuous but filled with valuable information. This immersive learning experience provided us with a generous sampling of the rigors of college academics and a fairly accurate picture of what we could expect as college freshmen. There was not a single interaction with any of the faculty that was not uplifting and engaging. SAT preparation workshops, college writing series and presentations about college procedures by successful, articulate people in vibrant career fields gave us the insight and guidance needed to get ready for college application. Our mentors were great people who were not patronising or authoritative figures though they could lay down the law quite nicely.

     Every day was filled with new learning opportunities ranging from diplomat talks, culture classes and dress-up days. Problems such as hunger, poverty and social injustice gnawing our society were discussed and I learned many other things about life itself such as where I stood in the world as well as how I am impacting my community. Whether it was in the field or in the dormitories, the discussions with my peers invoked the most meaning and passion for learning-not only for what the world is like and why is it in such a way but also how to change it for the better and make it a place in which everyone wants to live. YYAS builds an open-minded community in which teens can deeply engage. It was then that I discovered the power humans hold in their hands; we may be feeble beings who with one accident may perish but we are the beings that domesticated livestock, created scientific concepts and built pyramids. I realised that I needed to experience the world for I have not seen even 1% of it and the place where I was headed had the many of opportunities to expand my horizon and knowledge base.

     From the outburst of hysterical laughter to the pranks pulled at mealtime, friendships were made and lessons were learned. I enhanced my own perspective while meeting people whose lives are very different from my own. There was always something interesting to do and someone interesting to share it with. Whether we see each other again or correspond with them for years to come, we are all glad of having met amazing young people of vision.                                                                       

And soon enough, 8 days were over; 8 days of sharing talents, dreams, opening night jitters, summer flings, innermost secrets but the memories and friendships last.
 Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, ‘’A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.’’ I believe that I have matured mentally throughout that journey-like a dragonfly nymph breaking the water’s surface. I feel as though I have broken a barrier in the understanding of how the world of today works and that now, there is no looking back to the ways of the past. I can only move forward.

Blog by Ashwini Brijmohun from Mauritius 
YYAS 2019 Ghana Session

Monday, January 13, 2020

YYAS: An Experience of a Lifetime by Lea Kpodo

          Greetings to all my African family , near and far , the purpose of this blog post is to share the wonderful experience that I had at the Yale Young African Scholars program. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that has benefited me more than I ever could have imagined. If you are interested in learning more about this experience, continue reading.

          To begin with, what is YYAS? YYAS is an acronym for the Yale Young African Scholars program. This program is an intensive academic and enrichment program designed for secondary African school students planning to pursue tertiary education and who wish to make meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.

          During the program , I had the opportunity to attend courses on topics such as standardized tests. I was taught skills that would help me prepare for these standardized tests which ultimately gave me the confidence I needed on how to approach these tests in the best way. The courses also prepared me to gain an understanding of what to expect on the test day. These tools I acquired were very beneficial and without the YYAS program, I strongly believe that I would not be well prepared.  With some of others participants, we formed a workshop Group lead by an instructor who help us to focus on university application guidance.

          Alongside the workshops, I got the opportunity to also attend interdisciplinary seminars, stand-alone classes designed and taught by student instructors. One example of a seminar I attended was on the topic of the retrospection of Africa's history and the consequences it has had on generations. It was very insightful to be able to learn more about our rich history from different lenses other than just my own. It opened up my mind and gave me insight and clarity.

          My favorite experience however was receiving the opportunity to attend university-style lectures taught by both Yale professors and local experts willingly shared their personal experiences with us about their own battles in life. Their stories encouraged me and taught me lessons about not giving up when difficulties arise , despite all of the struggles life brings. I learned that with a hard work , patience , passion , determination and self-confidence I can also achieve great things.

          Last but not least , the week was spent building long lasting friendships and obtaining knowledge from many others young participants just like myself. We laughed together , WE learned together , and fostered a great sense of community.

          YYAS has given me the opportunity of a lifetime that has benefited me in so many ways. If you are looking to be positively challenged , gain knowledge and insight , grow as a young leader , and to gain friendships, I strongly urge you to apply to this amazing program today.

Blog by Lea YYAS 2019, Ghana Session

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Beginning Of My Change-Making Journey by Fatu Kaba

It was once said by Leo Tzu that “the journey of a thousand mile begins with one step.” As I arrived at the Tema International School in Ghana, I was excited not only because it was my first official trip out of my home country, but my life was also about to make the greatest turn. The turn, full of amazing and wonderful people, gave me a life-changing experience that was yet to stay. Interestingly, every single day brought an amazing life lesson, gained either from the faculties and peers. Being in a mixture of about 100 students from about 28 different countries was beyond fascinating to explore. YYAS was not just an ordinary academic and leadership program, but a program that vividly exposes Africa's next breed of change leaders to opportunities around the globe. Participating in YYAS challenges a person to grow in almost all sectors of leadership, personal and academic experiences.

Sometimes we think we are the best among our peers until we happen to be placed among others who are as brilliant as we are, or sometimes more than we anticipate of them. Then, we become compelled to leave our comfort zone in order to have our ideas challenged so we can learn and grow. It felt amazing attending different workshops and discussion sessions with my fellow young Africans, who brought different experiences even beyond my imagination.

Academically, YYAS was very impactful. I had to do more research and watch my arguments as my surroundings were filled with brilliant minds who were always willing to challenge my ideas. Interestingly, every time a faculty or staff member asked a question, I always saw more than 50 confident hands who were as eager as I was to share their knowledge and experience. Many days, I ended dropping my hands because the speaker could not afford to recognize all the hands being raised.

YYAS has different aspects, like University guidance (learning how to apply to schools abroad), seminars, workshops, SAT Preparation, and meeting with different admission officers from top ranking universities around the world.

Some of those activities were not as ordinary as they may sound. These were activities that gave us insight into real-world lessons, and one of the most fascinating activities were the enrichment activities, which was done mostly in the forms of games. These activities taught me important lessons that I have always referenced, no matter the time or place. These activities sent different valuable messages that impacted my life by changing my mindset about my own continent, Africa.

One of the enrichment activities that stuck out for me was a game that required us to be divided into a team of two in order to cross an imaginary river full of alligators. In order to cross this river, a team has to use a limited number of paper plates. At first, when we heard the words team and game, we did not consider the idea of teamwork as our first instinct was all about winning the other team. Unfortunately for the first time, we (especially my team) started losing even before beginning as we were already shouting and jumping into the game without a plan, no team organization, strategy, and mostly no cooperation. The first game was discarded and we were told to play and forget the idea of winning, cooperate as a team and see what changing the mindset would help us to progress in the game. Changing the mindset from just winning to cooperation and not competition enhanced the beauty of the game for us all; it felt like a miracle. Even though my team lost the game, but we went further than we did for the first time and could have done more if we mastered the skills of teamwork. Through this game, I learn the importance of teamwork and accepting feedback. I understood that for a team to be successful, everyone needs to cooperate; it is not all about winning; sometimes it is more about togetherness. Through the games, I realized that for Africa to move forward, Africans need to corporate and not compete. Over the past times, all we have ever done is see our fellow African/African countries as competitors and not brothers/sisters who are supposed to care for each other. We might have differences, but it is our diversity that makes us unique and distinguishes us from the rest of the world. I also understood that no matter how different we are, we should always find common ground and focus on our goal as a team.

Lastly, one of the most beautiful parts of YYAS was that it was full of brilliant minds who are as passionate as I am for change. The program was full of students who are determined to serve as Africa’s next breed of change leaders. The fun was not just about meeting different people from different African countries, but the amazing experience involved sharing and learning from their own unique experiences. Every time I sat on the dining table, I was faced with someone from a country I have heard little or nothing about. There, I would learn new things from them and it was always exciting to share my experience with them. I interacted and learned about counties I barely hear about in Africa and their distinct cultures. More importantly, I got to make lifetime friends who I still interact with as though YYAS 2017 ended yesterday. Through YYAS, I got to embrace the diversity among Africans in Africa and I know that we would have to make the difference in Africa. I love YYAS for what it has done and continues to do for us as young leaders.

Friday, April 26, 2019

On the Path of Becoming a Global Change Marker: A Reflection of YYAS 2018

It all started when I saw a link in my email notifying me to check my application status. The first thing I saw was, “Congratulations! You have been accepted to participate in the YYAS 2018 program in Ghana. After my acceptance to the program, I began to meet other accepted participants on social media.

My first day at the Yale young African scholars program in Ghana was a day to remember. Early in the morning after having breakfast with peers, we took a practice SAT test. Although it was at first daunting, it was beneficial in informing us of our strengths and weakness with the test, and helped us to better prepare.

The lectures by professors and Yale students were so educative fascinating. Meeting world -renowned, professors with a common passion of enlightening the minds of young Africans towards becoming change makers and social transformers. Having the opportunity to meet those people has contributed to my perspective about the world of the 21st century. For example, I learned more about robotics and how its contributions to global development, as well as its challenges. The lecture entitled Democracy, Law and Politics confirmed my passion to study political science and become a teen leader in politics and activism.

This program has positively impacted my journey to become a change maker and a social transformer. Group discussions, workshops and group presentations were all crucial to my personal and intellectual growth. Participating in these activities have also helped me to become more confident in my public speaking skills.

Right now, I am able to benefit human society through what I learned from the Yale Young African Scholars Program. So, cadres, counterparts, comrades please after reading this blog post, please consider applying to YYAS!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Fun Work and Productive Fun at YYAS- Naomi DaCosta

Although I was indifferent a week to YYAS due to a stressful summer, I can now say that YYAS is an experience that has changed me forever.

My dorm at YYAS was amazing. I got to share a room with some of the most wonderful people ever. Whitney, Joy, Sam… They were unlike most people I have ever meet: they were fun. Although I spend a lot of time in school, I am not close to my dorm mates. But, my YYAS dorm mates challenged me to come out of my shell.

Since I’ve never been one for letting go of challenges, I made up my mind to try and have more fun. It’s been a decision I will never forget. I finally stopped worrying about almost everything: my test scores, my extracurricular activities and my future. They made me realize the importance of both productive work and fun social life.

My YYAS workshop was especially fun. We discussed almost everything from liberal arts college and the varying receptions of the amount of spice in the food served at YYAS (I thought it wasn't spicy). Although a huge part of YYAS is about learning interesting ideas, there is a lot more to the program. You form incredible bonds with your YYAS workshop family, other participants, and instructors (who are Yale students). At YYAS, you're not expected to simply listen, copy notes and nod, but rather express your own ideas, ask questions, and debate topics.

As a YYAS alum, I believe I have begun stepping out of my comfort zone. I believe I can strive and work to bring change to my continent. Maybe I won't be the nest Nelson Mandela but I do hope I will be able to change people's love. YYAS has been life-changing, and for that, I am very grateful.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Wishing I Could Relive YYAS- Asma Nabil

My name is Asmaa Nabil. I am from Egypt. I took part in the Yale Young African Scholars Program in Ghana at Tema International School last year!

I was surfing the internet when I first learnt about YYAS program as a program held by YALE University. As I curiously started my application and got to learn more about the program, I was amazed by the content and the way it’s conducted. I decided to apply to the program, and I was accepted. It was really a great feeling when I saw the acceptance mail by chance while downloading some materials.
At YYAS, meeting new people and making incredible friends meant so much as I was able to share my perspective and ideas with peers from all over Africa. I also had the opportunity to learn from my friends about their different educational systems, cultures, and languages. YYAS provided a very safe, sustainable, and conducive learning environment for all.

It was at YYAS that I gained so much knowledge on different topics such as ethics of leadership and the importance of working together to embrace diversity, as well as other interesting topics and discussions that were covered during the seminars.

The unique system we followed during the program enabled all of us to reach our goals for attending the program. The chance to express yourself and your opinion built a great relationship between instructors, participants and professors. Another amazing thing about the discussion sessions was that it was taught by Yale student instructors.

Looking at my calendar, it’s really hard to believe that months have rolled by since I returned from this prestigious program. The memories of the session are still very fresh in my mind. It seems like I was at TIS just yesterday! It will be very hard to forget the inspiring nature of YYAS program. Truly, if anything is worth reliving everything, it would be the YYAS program!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Becoming a YYAS Ambassador- Fuad Thabit

Great men always say, ‘If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.’ My name is Fuad Thabit Thabit from Tanzania, age 18. I am in year 12 at Feza International School and I too got the wonderful opportunity of attending the 2018 YYAS program in Ghana.

When I first heard about the program from my friend, a 2017 alumnus of the program, I thought that this is an opportunity way out of my league and it wasn’t within my reach in a way that I wouldn’t fit in nor stand a chance to get through to the program but my friend encouraged me for he believed within every difficulty lies opportunity so I decided to take up the challenge and apply for the program and to my surprise I was among the few 300 out of 2000 students who got through to the program and it was one of the most eye-opening opportunities yet to come.

Before attending YYAS, I had no idea where to start with my college applications, it was like having a dream but not knowing what path to take to get to where you want to reach. It might have been just a ten-day program but for sure it had an impact of a lifetime for after the program not did I only believe that there was still a lot to do to utilize my full potential as an African scholar but also learn a lot about colleges and how to apply for colleges by coming across college students, admission officers and other college faculty members. Most importantly, I got the chance of meeting fellow African scholars with talents, dreams and visions I had not come across ever in my life and it is from these fellow scholars I learnt, together we can make impacts to the world like no other.

The best part of the program was the workshops we had every single day with one of the college students where we got to express what we had learnt throughout the day and challenges if any. We also got a personal touch on what life in college looks like and the kind of challenges the students face so as to be well prepared in pursuing our college studies. Things like College Board, The SAT and many more aspects were completely new to most of us and it was this program which opened our eyes and gave us an insight on what they mean and how to approach them. Not to mention the communication, academic, leadership and team-building skills we learnt from the program and the life-long priceless friendships and connections which serve as greater opportunities throughout the continent and overseas too and the enjoyable amusing moments we had. It did not end there, we were also paired with mentors who would guide us through our college application process.

Coming back to Tanzania, I was fuelled with a lot of energy to spread knowledge about this tremendous opportunity and increased my involvement in motivational talks as well as charity work to make a bigger difference in my community. YYAS is a blessing which was bestowed upon me and for that I would like to thank all the people involved in making it a success for me. I believe this is a blessing that other students out there deserve and that is why we take our time to spread this message to all you amazing students out there, now is your time, cherish this opportunity and shine like a newly born star. God bless YYAS, God bless Africa.

YYAS Family- Nkiinzi Cynthia Damalie

I was just wobbling down the stairs, and little did I know, it was my teacher sharing an idea which she thought would actually be beneficial to me. So, she ended up advising me to apply for the Yale Young African Scholars Program. Never did it cross my mind that this would create indelible memories, in my life and be a throbbing experience in my life. It cannot be left out, that this has been a gateway to so many other opportunities in my life. Truth be told, the application process was somewhat difficult owing to the fact that I had minimal computer knowledge and limited internet access, due to unavoidable circumstances, hence making it quite rigorous for me to fill the application form. My teacher and aunt often times kept supporting and motivating me. This steadily pushed me to finish my application to the best of my ability.

I was in uttermost shock, upon learning that I was among the lucky 300 students attending the programme. On arrival at Tema International School, the facilitators were so hospitable. I met different people from different cultures and backgrounds. The most exciting bit about the first day was the games we played. We made one big circle with each person's shoes in front of them.

Depending on the category of people that were called out, you had to run within the circle. It was so amazing and to sum it up was the rock, papers, scissors game. I emerged the champion.

There was a fixed and rigorous timetable of how the program was going to run for the remaining days. It included breakfast, lectures, SAT lessons, lunch, seminars, university guidance, enrichment program and so on. Hearing from the Yale faculty gave me a feel of how a university setting in the U.S.A is like. The time I enjoyed the most was workshop time. We were put in families comprising of about 8 scholars from the same region. My family leader was Mpiira.

During our first meeting, the atmosphere was quite tense but it became more and more interesting as the days went by. We became so close that there was a day we didn't meet as it was movie night and I almost cried.

It has been several months down the road ever since the program ended but it seems like it was just yesterday when I was in Ghana. In this experience, I got a chance to associate with outstanding students around the continent. We shared our goals and aspirations for the future and how we would cause the continent to grow. At some point, we were in the same place for those 10 days but right now we are spread out in different parts of the continent bringing about change in all possible ways. I believe we are inspiring others and being great leaders wherever we are.

In conclusion, the most exciting thing about this program is that it did not end after those ten days in TIS. We were given mentors to work with for the next twelve months. I cannot go without saying, the experience I had, is engraved somewhere within me, and being an ambassador would be the least thing I could ever do to show my sincere gratitude towards the program.

Nkiinzi Cynthia Damalie, a proud YYAS Alumna

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My Exciting YYAS Adventure by Gabriel John Roberts

My experience with Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) started with my application process which taught me to believe more in myself. I started filling my online application form with zeal but was discouraged when I got to the essay sections and I ignored my application for weeks. This was because even though I like to write, sharing my writings was a taboo for me. I thought my writings were not good enough to share and that my essays would kill my application. Thanks to my parents who pushed me to complete the application and prayed with me before I clicked the submission button. I was totally delighted when I learnt that my application was successful.

I was fortunate to travel with my dad to Accra, who was going there on a separate mission, during which I learnt what to do, as I was to return to Gambia on my own. I was picked up at the Kotoka International Airport by the YYAS team and driven to the Tema International School (TIS) where the program was held. The well-manicured scenery and spectacular sport facilities in the school were the first things that caught my attention and I am glad that I was later able to use the facilities and do some sports with my new friends. After registration, I discovered how blessed and honoured I was to be the first and only Gambian to attend the YYAS program. At that moment solitude crept in, but within minutes of socialising I felt at home.

During the program I met faculty members and current students of Yale University as well as secondary school students from across the African continent. The Yale team was excellent and amazing. I met awesome and exceptional students who are now my friends. I got to know friends like Nicole from Botswana, Elshaddai from Zimbabwe and Keneilwe from South Africa.

I have always had a keen interest in space and I always wonder what goes on outside our planet earth, so my expectations were high on my seminars of interest, which attracted my attention: ‘Searching for Earth’s Twin’, ‘How are Galaxies Formed’, ‘Impacts with Space Objects’ and ‘Tensegrities and our Body’, although the latter was not space-based. The seminars were very enlightening. I learnt about how galaxies are formed and about exoplanets, and how they are detected. But for me, the workshops were the highlights of because it was family time. We were each designated to a workshop family, where we felt more at home. We had open and frank discussions with each other. The workshops helped me to break out of my comfort zone and to socialise better. It gave me the confidence to stand and speak in public which I currently do during YYAS Alumni Ambassadors information sessions. We were also taught how to prepare for the SAT exams, write and send emails, online applications for university and how to write personal statements for university application. The talent night was a showcase of African’s rich diversity, heritage and culture. I also had the experience of living in Tema International boarding school on campus, a taste of university life.

YYAS 2018 was an exciting adventure for me. I had to stay in a hotel by myself for the first time a day after the YYAS program before travelling back home and I was able to enjoy Accra. Thanks to Grandma Helen, who took care of me during the day and took me to the airport the following day

I am currently preparing for my AS-Level examinations in June 2019 and my aim is to do my ‘A’ level examinations in June 2020. My medium term plan is to do my SAT and apply to university next year. My goal is to study engineering with majors in electronics and mechanics and create new devices to enhance space technology.

I really want other Gambian students to benefit from this life-transforming program. So to get other Gambian students to apply, I organised an information session and distributed YYAS 2019 flyers at my school with Professor Dagan Rossini and at Glory Baptist International High School and Apple Tree International High Schools.

There is so much more than what I wrote in this piece about the YYAS program. You can only find out and experience them for yourself if you, APPLY NOW!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Making Visions a Reality by Lwandile Jacobs

When one thinks of nine days, they automatically assume its insignificance in a broad manner. Nine days can simply be seen as a week and two days, or be seen as 216 hours, which sounds much better, or 12,960 minutes? 777,600 seconds? Or rather, instead of looking at it that way, why don’t we measure it according to the moments I shared within nine days in Tema, Ghana on the Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program, which I gained so many memories in only nine days?

The beginning had already made me aware I was at a different place. I walked out of the plane covered in multiple layers of clothing, as I had left my home country, South Africa in the midst of its cold winter days. My choice of clothing automatically felt like a mistake. The thick warm air of Ghana welcomed me and I was excited to experience what I had anticipated for many months- The YYAS Program.

Throughout the flight I had begun creating friendships with other students from South Africa that I had not met before, and upon arrival began connecting with students from other countries within our continent. It was exciting as, having not travelled within the continent before, I met people who I could learn about their cultures, perspectives, and share the common motivation of wanting to reach for our dreams, and also use our abilities to aid in making positive shifts within the lives of others.

The program’s content definitely gave me more than I had expected. I had thought it would be merely a course that would give me information about the steps needed to aid in my university applications, but it was more than that. The YYAS team members had put a lot of effort in making it an experience in which we learned more than just about university applications. A significant thing about the program is how we as students got the ability to interact freely, and be as curious as we desired. The YYAS team was open to any questions we asked, within and out of the sessions, we got to sit with the lecturers who taught us about interesting topics such as the importance of language and Robotics during lunch and dinner, and had the rare privilege of having Admission officers of some of the top universities continentally and internationally join our program, to give us a view of what it’s like being in their position of accepting students into their universities. Our instructors, consisting of students currently studying at Yale University, formed a system of us students connecting to our peers and being able to gain a real perspective of what it’s like to apply and live in university.

A definite important aspect of the program, are the students I got to meet within my experience. I got to connect with people who come from different backgrounds and cultures, and understood what the core of us being able to bond so quickly was. We all were proud to share each other’s culture, from gestures as simple as tasting food from other places, such as Doro Doro small, spherical biscuits from Ethiopia, and my favorite-Teaching a student from Burkina Faso Zulu while he taught me French. We were all open to being each other’s friends, getting to know one another, unafraid to share our perspectives about things during settings such as dinner conversations and our discussion groups after our lectures. Within the nine days, I built very significant friendships, ones with individuals who were completely different from me but we shared similar values, such as of being ambitious, humble, and enthusiastic about life, go-getters, and aiming to join together and help one another as we journey through life and make our visions a reality.

What I learnt from this program, was how important it is for us in this world, to have important conversations about the issues that affect the wellbeing of many of us, and in that case, all of us. When we had discussion groups after every lecture, hearing opinions from people who come from a range of backgrounds broadened my perspective of the possible solutions to these issues, and the importance of individuals from different backgrounds uniting in working out in solving these issues. I also gained a lot of inspiration from the students themselves as they had acquired great achievements during the course of their high school careers. It has given me a drive to not limit myself, to keep working hard and improving in all I do.

If a student is interested in applying for YYAS, they should definitely apply. The program lets you connect with so many people, and grow in knowledge and grow as an individual as you learn from those you meet about things you might have not been aware of before. And also, be brave. The only way you’ll know if an opportunity is yours, is to try!

Friday, March 8, 2019

My Experience at YYAS 2018, by Nana Adwoa Abban

I am Nana Adwoa Abban. I'm 17 years of age and in my final year. I attended the Ghana session in 2018. I got accepted for the YYAS program during my second year of high school. I was browsing the internet and I found out that the YYAS application was open. I hesitated before applying because it was left with only two days to resume school and unfortunately, phones are not allowed in my school. I started the whole application and completed it on the second day.

I left for school and when I came back, saw a message that I had been accepted into the program. I was very happy.

The YYAS program has really helped me, both in my academic life and social life. It introduced me to so many things that I didn't know about. First of all, the cultural diversity of the countries made the program fun too. I got to learn about many cultures.

In my academic life, the seminars helped me. Some seminars that I took were entitled: "How to Think", "Automated Cars", "How to Get away with Lying" and "Sports and Philosophy". These seminars broadened my scope. I got more information about some things I didn't know. The university guidance session was also very useful as we were taught when, how and where we should apply for various universities. We were also given financial aid guidance and informed about the mistakes people always make when applying for universities so that we'll avoid them.

The SAT lessons helped me to practice my SAT. During the program, we wrote a practice SAT and that was my first. The discussion of the various parts and more practice have now made me better in SAT.

At the end of everyday, we broke out into our workshop groups. During workshop, we discussed all that happened during the day and our problems were addressed during that period. My workshop group is my family for the program. It helped me to socialise with the people in my workshop.

The Yale Young African Scholars program is a very good program. It enhances your academic skills and improves upon your social life as you get to meet people from all over the continent. I urge all of you eligible to apply for this program because it'll make a difference in your life as it has done to mine!