During the summer of 2014, the Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) held its pilot program in Ghana and Ethiopia. YYAS was developed to acquaint exceptional African high school students with skill development workshops aimed to help them prepare for a demanding US college application process. High school students from all over the African continent were brought together for a five-day academic program where they participated in lectures and seminars taught by Yale faculty, noted African speakers, and African students enrolled at Yale on topics ranging from diplomacy to education, urbanization, energy, and health.
Over 1,200 students from 23 countries applied for YYAS. 110 students were selected, representing 18 African countries and 79 schools across Africa.
The program was conceived by a group of Yale students as a way to introduce some of the continent’s most talented high school students to Yale and to the ambitions of attending outstanding universities more generally. Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Director of the MacMillan Center, immediately embraced the project.
The program’s curriculum was designed to help students recognize and understand global issues, develop responses, and generate solutions. Professor Shapiro delivered a lecture series, and Yale students from Africa taught a number of the workshops.