YFI Now Accepting Enrollments for its Serve, Learn, & Empower Program

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High school and college students spend just over two weeks immersed in Ghanaian culture. The public health-based service program teaches students life skills and leadership qualities as YFI looks to maximize their potential on their way to impacting their world, beginning with a village in Ghana.

2016 Commissioning of the Andrew Ampah-YFI Center in Abeaze-Dominase, Ghana

I have sent my daughter on various programs and for the money spent and what she got out of this program, it was the best money we ever spent on our daughter.

Youth Futures International (YFI) premiered its Serve, Learn, & Empower program in 2009 and has had great success and feedback from high school and college students who have participated in the program every summer. The 2017 Serve, Learn, & Empower program is being held July 7-23 and YFI is now accepting applications for enrollment. Visit http://www.ghana.yfiexperience.org to learn more.

“I have sent my daughter on various programs and for the money spent and what she got out of this program, it was the best money we ever spent on our daughter,” said Doug Neal, parent of a 2013 participant.

Because of the program’s success and importance to the community of Abeadze-Dominase in Ghana, Africa, YFI built a permanent presence in the village in 2016 with the Andrew Ampah-YFI Center, a community center that houses students while programs are in session during the summer and provides a base facility for YFI’s year-round Peer Educator program.

The Serve, Learn, & Empower program was founded in the village of Dominase to provide public health education on a variety of issues important to the community upon invitation of the village’s chief. Through the years, the program has also branched out into neighboring villages. “Health is critical to youth development, growth, and success. Many youth in Ghana are not given health education in their school curriculum. It is our job as leaders to provide this basic human right to as many as we can,” said Zoe Baylin, YFI Executive Program Director.

“Youth Futures International is a shining example of inspiring a new generation of students by providing them with hands-on experiences in the communities where they serve. It is difficult for me to overstate the importance and impact of your program on participating students,” said David Buchanan, DrPH, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

YFI participants go into schools and teach subjects to elementary school children through high school youth. Subjects are identified by YFI leadership and villages leaders. Curriculum is developed by graduate MPh student interns from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences. Those interns also provide statistical tracking on the effectiveness of YFI’s public health education. Topics have focused on both education and prevention and have included cholera, HIV/AIDS, good nutrition, malaria, personal hygiene, female empowerment, and the importance of education in general.

YFI participants gain important leadership skills as they lead peer meeting sessions each evening. They work with community health professionals, teachers, heads of schools, and village elders. Students help each other by providing valuable feedback on their classroom teaching skills and speak publicly before the community about what is being taught in schools. They perform their tasks under the supervision and tutelage of YFI staff from the U.S. as well as YFI Ghanaian staff.

“This program has empowered and inspired me in ways I never thought possible. I now feel like I can take on the world and truly make a difference. And I have Youth Futures International to thank for that,” said Kaitlin McClelland, a former participant.

In addition to wanting to make a difference in the world, YFI requires all high school students who apply to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher (or equivalent) and obtain a recommendation by a high school teacher.

“We are proud to have sent three of our children to Ghana with YFI’s Serve, Learn, & Empower project. The experiences our children had were unlike anything they ever encountered in their lives. Our children were completely immersed and accepted into the community and culture of the Ghanaian people. Our children were empowered, humbled, and challenged. They returned home with a completely new and different perspective on what living in a global world is like,” said Ellie Pariseault, a parent of 2013 & 2015 participants.

Youth Futures International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Amherst, Massachusetts and was founded by executive director David Butler. From its original purpose of providing summer camp programs to youth with HIV/AIDS in 1994, YFI changed focus in 2009 by creating its Serve, Learn, & Empower program in Ghana, Africa. Since 2009, YFI has hosted and developed unique international service-oriented and educational opportunities for high school and/or college students and has programs operating in Ghana, India, and the U.K. during summer 2017. YFI also partners with schools in Massachusetts, around the U.S., and around the world as it brings its unique message of inspiring students to become young global leaders.

Learn more about YFI’s Serve, Learn, & Empower program by visiting http://www.ghana.YFIexperience.org and YFI’s other programs at http://www.YFIexperience.org.

David Butler, Executive Director, Youth Futures International
6 University Drive, Suite 206-181, Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: (413) 658-0224 ext. 101

Email: info(at)ghana.yfiexperience(dot)org


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