A rigorous academic and enrichment programme, Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS), is created for African secondary school students who want to pursue university study and who want to have a significant effect as young leaders on the continent.
Participants will sharpen their academic abilities, get assistance with applying for financial aid and university admission, and join a network of young African leaders. After the programme, mentors will be assigned to each student, who will receive guidance from them when they apply to universities.
- Age: You must be at least 14 years old, and not older than 18 years old, by the application deadline (1st February 2023) in order to be considered. Please note that a typical YYAS student is between the ages of 15 and 18.
- English: You must be able to participate in a rigorous academic curriculum conducted in English.
- Citizenship: You must be a citizen or permanent resident of an African country. YYAS will also accept applications from refugees living in an African country.
- School location: You must currently attend school in an African country.
- Grade Level: You must be a current 11th grade student (or the international equivalent).
- Graduation date: If you attend school in the Northern Hemisphere, you must be graduating secondary school by latest May/June 2024. If you attend school in the Southern Hemisphere, you must be graduating secondary school by earliest November/December 2023 and no later than November/December 2024.
A typical YYAS participant has:
- Excellent academic records
- Demonstrated leadership potential
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- A desire and ability to work cooperatively with peers
- Persistence and determination when facing challenges
- High standards of personal and professional conduct
- The ability to read, analyze, and reflect on large quantities of difficult material in English
- Demonstrated maturity and interest in engaging in discussions about intellectual, moral, and political issues in Africa
- YYAS is designed to bring together high-achieving and socially-conscious secondary school students from across the African continent.
- Regardless of the format, students can expect a week of university-style seminars, workshops on career exploration and university admissions, interactions with industry and academic professionals from Yale and beyond, and networking with a pan-African cohort of peers.
- Asynchronous and synchronous programming will be a critical part of both programs.
In 2023, YYAS will offer a residential program in addition to its online program
YYAS 2023 Program Dates:
YYAS Online: 30 July- 5 August 2023
YYAS Zimbabwe: 11-18 August 2023
While the YYAS program can provide free housing and academic curriculum materials for all participants during the residential program, each student will pay a program fee of 175 USD in advance to cover all meals and local operational expenses during the program. Additionally, each student must be able to pay for and coordinate their own travel to and from Zimbabwe.
YYAS Program Content
Seminars and SDG Seminars
Seminars are interdisciplinary, standalone classes taught by Yale University students on various topics relating to the African continent, including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The seminar-style classes offer a taste of what they will experience in a university learning environment. Past seminars have included:
- Water for Wellness, an SDG Seminar
- Language and its Effects on Our Behavior
- Afro-Innovation, an SDG Seminar
- Why Do We Sleep?
- Foreign Aid in Africa
Yale University instructors lead small groups of students through various activities designed to develop strong bonds with peers from around Africa through identity reflection, courageous conversations, active listening, and fun social activities.
Career guidance exposes students to different career pathways through interactive talks led by prominent professionals in their field. Students choose from one of four career tracks, including communications, technology, entrepreneurship, and public health.
University Admissions and Financial Aid
University representatives spend two days with YYAS students and present on curriculum, financial aid, and their individual institutions. Past universities that have participated include Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Rice University, Sciences Po, African Leadership University, Ashesi University, and more.
Standardized Test Preparation
Before the start of the program, students will watch a pre-recorded video designed specifically for African test-takers new to exams like the SAT. Students can submit questions to be addressed in a live SAT Q&A session during the program.
After the YYAS program, students have the opportunity to receive a mentor who will serve as one of the many post-YYAS resources available to students. Mentors are on-hand to help YYAS students in several areas, such as identifying extracurricular activities, selecting universities, writing essays, and test preparation strategies.
Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) is a proud member of the HALI Access Network and continues to enjoy support from The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. YYAS was modeled off its sister program, Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS), and continues to operate under its umbrella.
How to Apply:
- To apply, students must submit an online application that includes one essay and two short-answer prompts. Students must also upload an official school transcript or grade report.
- YYAS also strongly encourage students to provide the contact information for one teacher who knows them well enough to fill out an online recommendation form.