The Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) is an intensive academic and enrichment program designed for African secondary school students planning to pursue tertiary education and who wish to make meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.
Participants will enhance their academic skills, receive university admission and financial aid application guidance, and join a network of young leaders from across Africa.
Following the eight-day program, students will be paired with mentors who will help advise them throughout the university application process. There are no tuition, meal, or lodging costs for students to participate in YYAS.
YYAS is an official program of Yale University.
The Yale Young African Scholars Program is in proud partnership with the Higherlife Foundation and is a member of the HALI Access Network, with additional support from The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.Mission
The mission of YYAS is to expose Africa’s brightest young leaders to various opportunities for pursuing tertiary education, and to equip them with the skills to serve their communities and the world. In line with Yale’s mission of educational accessibility, YYAS is free for all students.
The vision of YYAS is to mentor and support African secondary school students to become Africa’s next generation of leaders and engaged citizens.
Participants in the YYAS program will emerge with an expanded knowledge base, friendships forged with peers from around the continent, and direct access to university student mentors who will help guide them through the university admissions and financial aid application processes.
The Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program was conceived in 2013 by a group of African undergraduate and graduate students at Yale University. Their goal was to share their knowledge and experience of studying in the U.S. with some of the continent’s most talented secondary school students, and to help them prepare for the demanding university application process.
Dr. Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Director of the MacMillan Center, as co-director of the Yale Africa Initiative, immediately embraced the project. The MacMillan Center’s support was instrumental in bringing YYAS to fruition.
In 2014, YYAS held its pilot program in Ghana and Ethiopia. Over 1,200 students from 23 countries applied and 110 students were selected, representing 18 African countries and 79 secondary schools across Africa.
Building upon that early success, the following year YYAS held subsequent programs in Rwanda and Zimbabwe, bringing together 100 participants from 17 countries.
Later in 2015, thanks to a generous gift from Higherlife Foundation, YYAS received funding for three years of sessions to be held in Ghana, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe, with 100 students per session each year.
In 2016 YYAS welcomed a new cohort of African secondary school students representing 25 African countries. In 2017 the Program welcomed another cohort of 300 students from 33 countries.
During the most recent edition of YYAS 2018, the Program welcomed its newest cohort of student participants from 35 African countries, increasing the network to over 1,000 alumni.
The Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) offers a variety of employment opportunities.
We are looking for people who are passionate about teaching, mentoring, and inspiring secondary school (i.e. high school) students from diverse backgrounds, and are willing to work collaboratively to create a successful and memorable program. Current employment opportunities are listed below and are updated throughout the year.
How to Apply