The YES program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Through the U.S. Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations live and study for an academic year in the United States.
YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities. Applicants compete for YES scholarships through a rigorous, merit-based selection process. While on program, participants live with American host families, attend high school, and engage in community service and civic education activities.