On July 11th, 2023, the Yunus Emre Institute USA (YEE) hosted the Boys & Girls State program, organized by the American Legion. The Boys & Girls State program targets senior high school students and aims to cultivate future democratizers through political process learning and mock government running. Over the next two days, YEE will serve as a "home" for the students, providing them with space and facilities support.
Gokhan Coskun, the executive director, delivered a briefing highlighting the historical significance of Turkiye as a bridge between Eastern and Western civilizations. He further emphasized the strategic relationship between Turkiye and the United States, particularly in this new era of global collaboration. Coskun commended students and expressed his hope that they would become future democratizers and people-to-people ambassadors.
The briefing was not limited to political discussions but included Turkish music, art, cuisine, and sports introduction. The students actively participated in the discussions and posed enthusiastic questions. Turkish tea particularly caught their interest, leading to inquiries about its history, brewing methods, and drinking customs. Additionally, the students enjoyed the traditional Turkish cuisine, further enhancing their cultural experience.
This momentous occasion marks the first time that YEE has opened its space and facilities to support the Boys & Girls State program. The organization aims to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience for the students, empowering them to become engaged citizens and future leaders who will shape a better tomorrow.