Thirteen Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellows from Curaçao, St. Maarten, Guyana, and Suriname met in Willemstad, Curaçao last week for a two-day U.S. Embassy pre-departure orientation workshop to prepare Fellows for their upcoming 2023 YLAI Fellowship Program exchange.
The workshop provided Fellows with the opportunity to meet and engage within their cohort to build a strong cohort identity, discuss their expectations ahead of the fellowship, and network with other fellows and YLAI Alumni. The 2023 Fellows were joined by four alumni from Guyana, Suriname, Aruba, and Curaçao to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial skills and network. These remarkable entrepreneurs will join a group of 270 fellows from across the Caribbean, Latin America, and Canada who were chosen out of more than 1,800 highly qualified applicants. The Caribbean participants lead businesses that span multiple sectors, including economic innovation and growth, health, education, and civic engagement. Following the predeparture orientation, the Fellows will travel to the United States to participate in a four-week fellowship in cities throughout the country.
Launched in 2015, YLAI is the Department of State’s flagship program to empower emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to enable the full economic potential of the region’s citizens. Combining a yearly fellowship program, an active and open online network, and ongoing engagement from U.S. embassies, YLAI fosters prosperity, inclusive development, and democratic values. YLAI also promotes U.S. business models, increased trade, and job creation.
You can find more information about the YLAI Fellowship Program and the YLAI Network at https://ylai.state.gov/, and you can follow the fellowship on social media at @YLAINetwork and using #YLAI2023.