YES Abroad has also sponsored more than 500 American high school students to live and study abroad. As Senator Lugar said in 2012, “Former Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and I felt it was very important, in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy in the United States, to get to know students in Muslim countries and for them to know us, so we worked with the State Department and others to institute this program. High school students are quick learners, they are well able to adapt to new conditions, and they are our future leaders. We are most hopeful that this experience will be a part of this leadership background.” Senator Lugar was not only the co-sponsor of the legislation that created the YES program, he took an active role meeting groups of YES students every year when they visited Washington DC.
His legacy in international diplomacy will live on in the thousands of YES alumni and future YES participants who return home – equipped with new networks and a global perspective – inspired to make a positive difference in the world.”