Yale Launches New Program for Talented Young Scholars in Africa

July 11, 2014

This summer, Yale University will conduct an innovative program for exceptional African high school students to acquaint them with Yale and inspire their ambitions for an outstanding university education.  The Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program in Ghana and Ethiopia will bring together high school students from all over the African continent for a five-day academic program. Students will live together while participating in lectures and seminars taught by Yale faculty, noted African speakers, and African students currently enrolled at Yale on topics ranging from diplomacy to education, urbanization, energy, and health.

Over 1,200 students from 23 countries applied for YYAS. 110 students were selected, representing 18 African countries and 79 schools across Africa.

The program was conceived by a group of Yale students as a way to introduce some of the continent’s most talented high school students to Yale and to the ambitions of attending outstanding universities more generally.  Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Director of the MacMillan Center, immediately embraced the project.

The program’s curriculum is designed to help students recognize and understand global issues, develop responses, and generate solutions. Professor Shapiro will deliver a lecture series, and Yale students from Africa will teach a number of the workshops. In addition, the program will offer skill development workshops aimed to help students prepare for a demanding US college application process.

“For centuries, Yale has been deeply committed to educating talented student leaders from around the world,” said Yale Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives Linda Koch Lorimer, who oversees Yale’s Office of International Affairs, which administers the program. “The Yale Young African Scholars Program builds upon that mission by providing mentorship opportunities in Ghana and Ethiopia for high school students who have demonstrated their commitment to make a significant impact in their communities and beyond.”

Rachel Nyaradzo Adams, Associate Director for Africa in the Yale Office of International Affairs, believes the program is unique due to the fact that it was co-designed by Yale students from Africa who understand the challenges and opportunities that come with applying for an education in the United States. “The residential nature of the program will allow in-depth and intimate knowledge sharing and also equally important coaching and mentoring,” said Adams.

Modeled off the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, a summer academic enrichment and leadership training initiative for outstanding high school students, YYAS is the first of its kind to take place outside the Yale campus. “The Yale Young Global Scholars Program brings students to Yale from around the world,” said Assistant Director Erin Schutte. “We are excited to now offer a program that brings Yale to the world, specifically to talented, young African scholars.”

For more information on the Yale Young African Scholars Program, visit: http://globalscholars.yale.edu/africa

For more information on the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, visit: http://globalscholars.yale.edu/