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IRIS YES Students Attend Youth Tech Camp

May 1, 2014

On April 6-12, two IRIS YES students, Israa and Ellyssahanna attended a Youth Tech Camp (YTC) in Burlington, Vermont.  Israa and Ellyssahanna were two of 26 students selected for the program, which focused on leadership, public speaking, and technology/social media training skills.


Israa and Ellyssahanna stayed busy from the time they woke up until they went to bed each day of the camp, gaining skills in time management, understanding the different kinds of intelligence, and enjoying fun activities like going to galaxy bowling and attending a Youth Tech Camp prom. Ellyssahanna appreciated the action packed schedule at the Youth Tech Camp stating, “YTC is not all about sitting in a round table and listening to the speaker the whole day, but it includes tons of fun which made the program very engaging and alive”.

Israa and Ella attend the Youth Tech Camp

Israa and Ella attend the Youth Tech Camp


The workshop taught Israa and Ellysshanna how to utilize social media for social change. They both identified an issue in their home countries of Tunisia and the Philippines (respectively) and learned how to use tools including Blogger, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter to create a social media campaign to drive social change. The camp also gave Israa and Ellysshanna the skills to teach members of their communities to create their own social change campaigns.


Both students gained many valuable skills and motivating experiences throughout their time at the camp. Israa proclaimed that, “This was one of the most exciting workshops I’ve ever attended”. Ultimately Israa and Ellysshanna will be able to take these skills back home with them to make a positive impact in their communities. Mentors helped guide Issra and Ellysshanna in giving them the skills. According to Issra, “The mentors and staff members…are full of awesomeness and they are a tremendous help, they gave us new ideas and strategies that gave us knowledge to have an effective training when we go back home”.

Ellyssahanna at the Youth Tech Camp

Ellyssahanna at the Youth Tech Camp

Not only were the students able to learn from the information and the workshops, but they were able to learn from other camp attendees as well. At a workshop that discussed multiple intelligences, Ellysshanna observed, “It was interesting to see what people are capable of doing, especially when they are out of their comfort zone”. Issra also appreciated the diverse views and skills of her fellow campers stating, “I’ve learned a lot not only from the speakers and mentors, but also from my co-participants and their respective countries. It’s just so amazing how many ideas and opinions came from every student”.


Are you interested in encouraging opportunities like these?  Help international students cultivate skills by volunteering as a host family with IRIS.  If you are interested in being a host family or have questions, please contact Tim at 515.292.7103 or


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