West Seattle teen and Garfield High School student Miranda Kubasti was awarded a national scholarship to study abroad in Turkey starting this fall as part of the U.S. Department of State's YES Abroad program.

West Seattle teen lands scholarship to study in Turkey and connect with Muslim population

West Seattle resident and Garfield High School student Miranda Kubasti, 16, is a scholarship recipient to study in Turkey for the next academic year as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs YES Abroad program.

Kubasti explains: “The YES Abroad program awards full scholarships to US high school students to study abroad in countries with significant Muslim populations, with the aim of promoting understanding through intercultural exchange.

“This year, 53 scholarships were awarded nationwide, with four of the
recipients from the Seattle area. I live in West Seattle and attend
Garfield High School. Ruby Fore and Amina Mohamud also live in Seattle and attend Seattle Public Schools. Maggie Alexander attends Eagle Harbor High School on Bainbridge Island.”

You can follow Miranda's adventures on her blog.

Here is the official press release from the YES program:
Miranda Kubasti Wins Full Scholarship to Study in Turkey for a Year

New York, NY – Miranda Kubasti, a high school student in Seattle, WA, has been awarded one of 53 scholarships to study abroad with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad program. The merit-based award covers the full cost of an academic year abroad, providing Miranda a full immersion experience through living with a host family in Turkey and attending a local Turkish high school. The YES Abroad program is operated under funding by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Through her participation in the YES Abroad program, Miranda is in the forefront of citizen diplomacy, and will develop the skills necessary to be a leader in the global community.

Miranda was selected as a YES Abroad Finalist from a national pool of applicants. The application process is made up of various stages, including a written portion and a national selection event attended by all Semi-Finalists. Finalists will serve as “youth ambassadors” in their host countries, promoting mutual understanding through forming lasting relationships with their host families and friends.

The YES Abroad program was initiated as an extension to the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. The YES program was first authorized by the U.S. Congress in the aftermath of September 11th as an effort to increase dialogue and understanding between the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. Initially created as a program for international high school students to live and study in the U.S., the YES program was expanded in 2007 to include YES Abroad for American high school students. The YES Abroad program for 2012-2013 provides opportunities for Americans to study for one year in select countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Thailand and Turkey.

The YES Abroad program is administered by a consortium of non-profit organizations led by American Councils for International Education and including AFS-USA, AMIDEAST and iEARN-USA. Exchanges taking place in Turkey are administered by AFS. AFS is a worldwide, nonprofit organization that has been a leader in international exchange for more than 60 years. Visit www.afsusa.org for more information on studying abroad, hosting an exchange student, or bringing intercultural learning into the classroom.

For more information about the YES Abroad Program, including information on how to apply for the 2013-14 academic year, visit www.yesprograms.org.

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