Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale will speak at a reception, hosted by program founders Senators Edward Kennedy and Richard Lugar, to honor this year’s Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program participants, on Thursday, June 11, 2009. The reception will take place in the Russell Senate Office Building, SR-325, beginning at 4:30 p.m. In addition to Under Secretary McHale, Senator Lugar and Senator Patrick Leahy, attending on behalf of Senator Kennedy, will make remarks, as will selected YES students and representatives of AYUSA International, which leads a consortium administering part of the YES Program in18 countries.
This event marks the end of the 2008-2009 academic year for the current contingent of YES participants before they return to their home countries. These 330 students represent Bahrain, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Gaza, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Tunisia, West Bank, and Yemen.
Funded through the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the YES Program started in 2003 to provide opportunities for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to live and study in the United States. With support from Senators Kennedy and Lugar, the program has grown to approximately 1,000 students coming to the United States from nearly 40 countries for 2009-2010. For more information on the YES Program, visit: http://exchanges.state.gov/youth/programs/yes.html
This event is open for press coverage of the remarks portion of the reception (4:30-5:30 p.m.). The final entry time for media representatives is 4:00 p.m.
Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. government-issued identification card (State Department, White House, Congress, Defense Department, Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identity card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by official photo identification (driver’s license or passport).
Kate Starr: (202) 203-7613, StarrKL@state.gov
Catherine Stearns: (202) 203-5107, StearnsCL@state.gov
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs or
Office of Press Relations, U.S. Department of State: (202) 647-2492