This past May, grade 11 Scholars Rodger and Luyanda and grade 10, Allan, embarked on a journey 5385 miles around the world to attend Yale University’s Yale Young Global Scholar’s (YYGS) Program in Singapore. It was the inaugural year for the program, which accepted only 200 students from around the globe and took place on the Yale-NUS campus. The week-long immersive program was focused on connecting young leaders, expanding world view through gaining new insights and perspectives, and providing exposure to the rigor of university course work.
The Yale Young Global Scholars Program, Singapore
The three scholars learned about topics ranging from human impact on global warming to neurocriminology and voluntourism through a series of lectures, seminars, and workshops taught by Yale and Yale-NUS faculty and students. Additionally, students worked in small groups to create a capstone project, learned about the university application process, and gained current Yale students as mentors.
The individual growth that each scholar experienced as a result of YYGS can be seen in both the tangible and intangible. The Capstone Project, which was a small group presentation developed over the course of the week-long program, allowed students to gain many of the tangible skills necessary for being successful in university.
“learning how to conduct effective online research and then apply that learned information to a presentation, is a skill I know I will carry with me for the rest of my schooling and future life.” – Rodger
Translating and Applying Information in a Global Context
The aim of the project was to apply Singapore’s societal strengths, such as their focus on being environmentally friendly and their STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education system to a less developed country. The students focused on Sierra Leone, the Philippines and Ghana.
In returning to Imagine Scholar, what seems to be the more significant growth is the intangibles that have trickled into the scholars’ lives outside of the YYGS scope.
“I feel much more confident in myself and my ideas. I don’t need to be that shy girl anymore and instead I feel like I can positively and confidently share my ideas with others. I think YYGS gave me the space to be around like-minded people who validated my thoughts and that positive reinforcement really helped me grow.” – Luyanda
Bringing it Home
The program’s impact spreads far outside of just Rodger, Allan, and Luyanda. The three scholars have brought back with them a new found confidence, perspective, and an eagerness to share. Each scholar has taken this confidence and applied it in ways to encourage their peers.
“YYGS has helped me be more confidant in myself and my ability to work with other people. I learned so many new ideas in Singapore and have been really passionate about not only continuing to pursue those ideas on my own, but also share them with other Imagine Scholars.” – Allan
The Yale Young Global Scholars program in Singapore was a transformative experience for Rodger, Luyanda, and Allan. They experienced many firsts from traveling outside of the country, to living on a university campus in a dorm, to experiencing lectures with world leaders in academia. They learned many new things which will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and it is clear that attending YYGS-Singapore was just the first of many educationally inspired adventures for these three scholars.
Imagine Scholar’s Sustainable Student Opportunity Fund (SSOF) allows our students to participate in extraordinary experiential learning opportunities, like attending the Yale Young Global Scholars program in Singapore. Help us build our SSOF fund to continue to provide experiences like these to bright young minds in South Africa.