Young Ambassador Student Exchange Program
As part of a month long exchange program sponsored by the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL), forty Israeli high school students traveled to the United States recently on the Youth Ambassador Student Exchange Program (YASE). Beginning with a week of home hospitality in cities across the US, the Israeli students joined youth from New York, Arizona, Oklahoma and Virginia for a week of workshops on cultural understanding and tolerance in the nation’s Capitol.
Dr. Charlotte Frank, senior vice-president of McGraw-Hill, has played an instrumental role in developing and nurturing YASE, ensuring that, what began as a fledgling operation in New York City in 1980 when she was Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Department of Education, extended to other cities across the United States.
The unforgettable week of activities included team and leadership workshops, tours of the United States Capitol, a visit to the national mall and US Holocaust museum to hear from a survivor and a formal dinner featuring Youth Ambassador student alumni and AIFL board members.
The next step on the journey took the students to New York City visiting the world renowned sites, seeing a Broadway show and getting an in depth look at diplomacy with a tour of the United Nations. Students also spent a day at Lehman High School in the Bronx to share their experiences with local students. The week of activities culminated with a celebration held in their honor before the delegation headed to Israel, where American Youth Ambassadors will live with Israeli host families and experience Israeli life and culture first hand.
The goal of YASE is to enable students from different backgrounds and cultures to build a bridge of cross-cultural understanding and long lasting friendships. When you see them gathered together they all look alike, sing together and the emphasis is always that we are more similar than we are different. The Youth Ambassadors return energized and excited to maintain their friendships and share their experiences with their respective surrounding communities through participation in the many AIFL follow up activities.#