YES Alumni across India initiate and successfully participate in an online discussion to honour Senator Lugar on 10th May 2019. The discourse of how impactful YES Program is in the lives of YES Alumni and how the legacy of Sen. Lugar has been life transforming was first initiated by alumni on online platforms paying homage to the unfortunate demise of the Senator.

The discourse grew larger and alumni started expressing heartwarming stories of their interaction and association with YES, thereby leading to this 1-Hour webinar where 25 YES alumni from across India joined. The webinar was also joined by staff members of AFS India who equally shared and resonated with the paradigm shift YES Program has been able to make in the young mindsets making them global changemakers.


Alumni also shares instances of how the program has helped them to become a dynamic personality with a glocal perspective (Global+Local). Many alumni, during their YES exchange year, also had the opportunity to meet Senator Lugar which made the interaction very nostalgic and emotional as well. The interaction had YES alumni from 2007 – 2017.

Below are the touch points discussed by YES Alumni:

  •   YES Program developed Active Global Citizens & why YES is significant for Indian Participants.
  •   Program helped create changemakers in the local community
  •   How YES enhanced soft skills of youth to create change and developed sense of volunteerism.
  •   The lifelong opportunities and engagement offered by the YES network.
  •   YES exchange year aided participants to think more critically & inclusively.

Excerpts | Assistant Secretary Marie Royce on the passing of Senator Lugar:

“The U.S. Department of State and all those touched by the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program mourn the passing of the great Senator Richard Lugar.  Thousands of young people around the world have experienced life in America thanks to the commitment and wisdom of Senator Lugar, who along with the late Senator Ted Kennedy started the program more than 16 years ago.  Created in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the YES program has brought more than 12,000 foreign high school students from countries…YES Abroad has also sponsored more than 500 American high school students to live and study abroad.Senator Lugar was not only the co-sponsor of the legislation that created the YES program, he took an active role meeting groups of YES students every year when they visited Washington DC. His legacy in international diplomacy will live on in the thousands of YES alumni and future YES participants who return home – equipped with new networks and a global perspective – inspired to make a positive difference in the world.