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YES Program
In 2019, States' 4-H will for the first time be participating in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and sponsored by the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). States' 4-H will welcome 20 YES students for the 2019-2020 school year. These students receive prestigious scholarships from the U.S. Department of State so that they can study in the U.S. The YES Program was created by Congress in 2002 as a response to 9/11. The program seeks to engage with young leaders from countries that have large Muslim populations. Students live with host families, attend high schools, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures.

FLEX Program
States' 4-H will not be hosting FLEX students in the 2019-2020 school year but please check back for updates on the 2020-2021 school year.
The FLEX program was created from former Senator Bill Bradley's conviction that the best way to ensure long-lasting peace and understanding between the United States and the countries of Eurasia is to enable young people from these countries to learn firsthand about the U.S. and Americans. The primary goal of FLEX is improving mutual understanding between our countries by allowing young citizens of Eurasia to have the opportunity to observe and experience American life.

FLEX and YES students come from many different countries:

Armenia Kazakhstan Moldova Serbia
Azerbaijan Kyrgyzstan Montenegro Tajikistan
Estonia Latvia Poland Turkmenistan
Georgia Lithuania Romania Ukraine
Mongolia Bulgaria North Macedonia Egypt
India Turkey Senegal Albania

Each year, States’ 4-H recruits host families for 20-25 FLEX and YES delegates. These students and host families build long-lasting bonds and discover things about themselves and the world through one another. A FLEX Student from Ukraine describes her experience with her host family:

“My host family are people whom I will always consider to be my closest American friends and I’d even say my American family. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be an elder sister, and experience that feeling when a one year old baby is screaming my name or when I’m riding a tandem with my 10 year old host sister. What I have learned for sure, is that people will always accept you if you are open to them, ready to be involved into their life, no matter where you are, no matter how long you have known them, no matter what language they speak.”

Basic Timeline:

2019-2020 Program Year

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Fall 2018 Students Apply for the Program (Selection occurs in 3 rounds)
Winter 2018 Students are selected
February-August 2019 Host families are identified and matched with Students
August 2019 Students arrive in the USA
August 2019-June 2020 Students live with host families and attend high school
May/June 2020 Students depart USA