The United States, U.S. Embassy has nominated 18 secondary school students from Nigeria to participate in the 2017 Youth Exchange Study (YES) scheme for one year academic programme in different schools in the U.S.
The Charge d’Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Mr David Young, stated this at the pre-departure orientation programme for the students in Abuja yesterday.
The students are expected to depart for the U.S today.
According to him, the students, who were selected from various schools in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Bauchi, are between ages 15 and 17.
“The programme targets Senior Secondary School students (SSS) who will travel to the U.S. for one academic year and return to join their colleagues to complete their school certificate programme.
Through this intense interaction over a prolonged period of time, students developed leadership skills, new friendship and a better understanding of America and its democratic way of life.”
Young urged the students to be good ambassadors of their country adding that they were going there to learn and interact with other students from the U.S. and other countries.
He added that they could help their American friends to understand more about Nigeria and its culture through their interaction.
“Try to focus on your study and learn about American culture which may be different from yours.
You can help make a different in Nigeria when you come back, you should be able to make impacts among your people in your community and in Nigeria at large,” he said.
The Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy, Laurence Socha, said that the programme started in 2003 in Nigeria and over 300 students had benefited from it.
Socha said that the objective of the programme was to provide young Nigerian students from predominantly Muslim communities and those from historically disadvantage backgrounds an opportunity to enhance their understanding of American society.
According to him it is also to enable them understand American values and culture, its people and institutions.
The Nigerian Director for YES, Dr SaiduYakubu, said that the students were selected through a rigorous competition among some northern states secondary schools.
The programme he said was keenly contested by students from some states which include kano,katsina,Gombe Plateau Taraba, Kebbi, and Kaduna.