Our January 19 CSD Spotlight feature discussed an impressive guest visit to CMS educator Julia Melloni’s class. Last week, these students had the opportunity to speak with another global guest—a high school exchange student from Afghanistan.
Masooma Rahaty, a student with the YES Abroad program who currently attends Mount Mansfield Union High School, spoke with the eighth-grade humanities class about her family’s traditions, Afghanistan’s educational system, its history and culture, and Islam.
The YES Abroad program, which was established in 2002, is funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and it provides scholarships to high school students from other countries to spend up to one academic year in the United States. While here, the selected students live with host families, attend school, and acquire skills and experience with American society. Part of the selected students’ responsibility as participants in the program is to educate Americans about their cultures. (In 2007, YES Abroad established a similar program for US students wishing to study abroad in specific countries.)
The effect of these global guests is striking, particularly in the way many of our students now view their own educational opportunities and in the ways that they are learning to draw real-world connections between their experiences and those of others from around the world. Helping our students to see their educations as truly important and meaningful will have lasting implications upon their lives and upon our society as a whole.
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