Funded by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this program helps students to foster lasting personal ties, engage in activities that promote mutual understanding across cultures, respect diversity, establish leadership skills, and understand civil society. At the same time, YES students help their American classmates enhance their understanding of foreign countries and cultures.
The Kennedy-Lugar YES program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Since then, YES has impacted more than 13,000 students from 45 countries. The reciprocal Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program opened for American students in 2009.
The program officially launched in Kosova in 2009 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Kosova in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, approximately 20 Kosovar students have completed the YES program each year and have joined the active alumni community in Kosova.