U.S. Embassy Announces the 2017 Cohort of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program

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The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce the 2017 cohort from Suriname for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program.  The YLAI program supports the United States’ commitment to increase trade and investment in the region and, in the words of Vice President Mike Pence, “bring even more of our business culture of entrepreneurship and innovation all across Latin America so that your [Latin America’s] prosperity and our prosperity will continue to expand together.” The five-week program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, will bring 250 young leaders from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States to augment their business or social venture plans, learn from U.S. counterparts, and share best practices.

This year, we are pleased to announce that six young leaders from Suriname have been accepted out of more than 3,000 applications to the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. The fellows are business and social entrepreneurs engaged in start-ups, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities focused on agriculture, clean energy, consulting, e-commerce, education, entrepreneurship development and support, food and beverage, health care, hospitality, LGBTI, marketing and branding, mobile applications, and women’s and youth empowerment.  This year, Suriname’s fellows include 2 female and 3 male talented and inspiring entrepreneurs who have been selected from a list of more than 50 Surinamers. They are ready to build a stronger, more prosperous, and more secure community. Biographies for the Surinamese participants accompany this press release.

The YLAI Professional Fellows Program kicks off at a conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The young leaders then participate in four-week fellowships in cities throughout the United States, where host-businesses mentor and guide the fellows through an entrepreneurship curriculum. The program concludes with a closing Summit in Washington, D.C. focused on leadership and skills development training. Fellows return to their ventures with new skills, resources, on-going support from U.S. counterparts, and an improved network, strengthening business ties between the U.S. and Suriname.

The https://ylai.state.gov/ website includes information about the YLAI Professional Fellows Program and the YLAI Network.  The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State funds this program, which is implemented by the Meridian International Center in partnership with Atlas Corps and Entrepreneurs’ Organization and community-based members and universities throughout the U.S.

For further information, please contact our Public Affairs Section via hillik@state.gov  or 556700.

YLAI Fellow Biographies – Suriname