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