Girl Scout Syarra Goldstein, a junior at Procter R. Hug High School in Reno, NV, has been awarded one of 65 nationwide scholarships to study abroad through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad program. The merit-based award covers the full cost of an academic year abroad providing Syarra a full immersion experience through living with a host family and attending a local high school in Sarajevo. The YES Abroad program is one of a number of U.S. Department of State citizen exchange programs operated by its Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Syarra will serve as a youth ambassador in her host country, promoting mutual understanding through forming lasting relationships with her host families and friends. With the full support of Washoe County School District, Syarra will complete her senior year and graduate from Hug High School with an Honors Diploma while living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Syarra was selected as a YES Abroad finalist from a national pool of applicants through a process that included various stages such as written essays and interviews. She finished 2022 first in her junior class with a 5.425 GPA and is a leader on the winning team for Northern Nevada’s Academic Olympics, Hug Science Bowl team, and is Stage Manager for the Hug Harlequins theater program. Syarra has also been a Girl Scout for 11 years, served as Delegate to the National Council Session, and is working towards earning her Gold Award.
On being selected for this scholarship, Syarra said, “In a world that is becoming more and more international, it is important for my generation to be open to different cultures and people. I can’t wait to experience a new culture and to be a citizen diplomat.”
The YES Abroad program was first authorized by the U.S. Congress in the aftermath of September 11 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 2009 to include American high school students traveling to one of 14 countries.
For more information about the YES Abroad program, including information on how to apply, visit www.yes-abroad.org.
Please find a photo of Syarra Goldstein here.