U.S. Embassy Announces the 2018 Cohort of the YLAI Professional Fellows Program

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PARAMARIBO – The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce the 2018 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 five young leaders from Suriname have been accepted out of more than 2,000 applications from throughout the Americas to participate the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. The fellows are business and social entrepreneurs who are engaged in start-ups, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities focused on variety of fields including agriculture, clean energy, e-commerce, education, entrepreneurship development and support, food service, health care, hospitality, LGBTI issues, marketing and branding, mobile applications, and women’s and youth empowerment.  This year, Suriname’s YLAI Fellows include 1 female and 4 male entrepreneurs, all talented and inspiring, who have been selected from a list of more than 30 Surinamese applicants. 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 in the week of September 17, at a conference in Detroit, Michigan. 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 on October 20 with a closing conference and networking event in Washington, D.C. with top U.S. government officials as well as global public, private, and nonprofit leaders. 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 the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section at hillik@state.gov  or 556700.