The Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) brings together African secondary school students between the ages of 15–18 for a tuition-free, intensive academic and leadership program that lasts eight-days per session. In 2019 the program will be held in three countries—Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe—between late July and end of August.
YYAS is the flagship program of the Yale Africa Initiative and is designed to introduce secondary school students from all African countries to the demanding university and financial aid application processes and requirements, thereby making higher education more accessible to the continent’s most talented young leaders. This past July and August, YYAS brought together 303 secondary school students from 236 schools and 35 African nations.
Administered by the Yale Young Global Scholars Program and building off that model of interdisciplinary academic exploration, YYAS participants next year will attend lectures led by prominent Yale faculty and local experts. Students will also attend seminars designed and taught by Yale graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom are themselves from Africa and familiar with the international university application process.
During the program, participants will engage in several experiential activities aimed at fostering leadership, teambuilding, and communication skills. Students will also have a chance to interact directly with admissions officers from universities around the world and learn about gap-year programs and other post-secondary school opportunities both at home and abroad.
Participants will receive individual as well as group lessons for standardized tests, designed specifically for African test-takers new to exams like the SAT. In addition, YYAS offers daily workshops on different components of a university application, such as the ins-and-outs of the Common Application and how to craft a personal essay. By the end of the program, students will have a plan and timeline for submitting their applications, as well as abundant resources for further research and mentorship.
Application and Eligibility Requirements
Prospective applicants must currently be attending secondary school in an African country and set to graduate after August 2019. In addition, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of an African country.
Selected participants will be self-starters who have an interest in pursuing post-secondary education, are in excellent academic standing, and demonstrate leadership potential. A full list of eligibility criteria can be found here.
A typical YYAS student is between the ages of 15 and 18, however, we do accept applications from students who will turn 14 years old by the application deadline. YYAS is a proud member of the HALI Access Network and gives admissions preference to high-achieving, low-income (i.e. “HALI”) students who do not have university guidance in their schools or communities.
To make the program accessible to students of all financial backgrounds, there are no tuition, meal, or lodging costs for students to participate in YYAS. In addition, YYAS offers a limited number of travel grants for admitted students from low-income backgrounds and who demonstrate the need for financial assistance to offset the costs of airfare between African countries.
To apply, students must submit an online application form which includes one essay and two short-answer responses. Students must also upload an official school transcript or grade report, as well as one recommendation written by a teacher who knows them well and has taught them in an academic subject. The deadline to submit all materials is 06th February 2019 at 11:59pm EST.
For more information, please email [email protected] or visit YYAS online. Their blog includes some interesting stories from current Yale Scholars, some which thought they would never make it into the program. So it’s worth checking out here. http://yaleyoungafricanscholars.blogspot.com