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Becca’s Time at the YES Civic Education Workshop

From February 22-28, 2020 almost 100 YES students participated in the first YES Civic Education Workshop of 2020 in Washington, DC. Six IRIS students were among this group. Throughout the week, students visited the U.S. Department of State, took part in various seminars and heard from different representatives of civic organizations and the media. They will also visited Capitol Hill and met with their host states’ Senators and House Representatives. Becca from Lebanon who is placed in Davenport, Iowa was one of our students who attended and she loved every minute of the week-long workshop. Read more about her thoughts and experiences below!

“People are guests in our story, the same way we are guests in theirs. But we all meet each other for a reason because every person is a personal lesson waiting to be told.” Lauren Klarfeld.

This week was absolutely fantastic. The moments that we all lived together are now memories. Memories engraved in my mind that I can tell my kids and future grandkids about when I send them off for an opportunity like my exchange year.

If you were to tell me last year that I would have a lot of friends from all over the place that speak different languages, traditions and opinions, I would have called you an absolutely lunatic. But now, this a part of my life. A part that will change my character, my thoughts and my feelings.

Yesterday, I was talking with one of my friends and we were saying that this program gives you all of these opportunities, friends, family and memories, but it hurts so much when these people you meet leave. But I feel grateful that I have gotten to meet people that make me cry when I leave them. How rare is that? How rare is that in under a week, you meet strangers that can be your friends for life?

In the words of Jim Henson “There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.” That is very rare.

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