U.S. Embassy Announces the 2022 Cohort of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program

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PARAMARIBO – Five young Surinamese entrepreneurs will soon travel to the U.S. as part of the U.S. State Department’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program. Launched in 2015, YLAI empowers emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to mobilize the full economic potential of the region’s citizens. The 2022 program began with virtual sessions in January and will conclude in July with 280 young leaders from 37 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada traveling for in-person fellowships in the United States.

Taking part in the 2022 YLAI program from Suriname are Diego Ameerali of Nano Designs; Julie Sundar of Codettes Girls in ICT & Innovation; Robin Hynes of Hynes All Natural Products; Simon Noerdjan of Bit Dynamics N.V.; and Charissa Berrenstein of Your Trusty SideKick N.V.

“We are excited to be supporting these young leaders as they grow and develop their business and organizations,” said Jake Goshert, the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Suriname. “Through exchange programs like YLAI, we build communities of like-minded people and share best practices between those in the U.S. and folks back here in Suriname. Working together we can ensure a bright future for both our nations.”

The 2022 YLAI Fellowship Program is a hybrid fellowship that runs between January and July 2022. During this time, Fellows will complete the YLAI Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum and then will travel to the United States to work alongside U.S. business owners in their fields or who are facing similar challenges. Fellows will form small cohorts across 20 U.S. cities and will collaborate with their peers to address shared business challenges throughout the exchange. The program is a collaborative, enriching experience that combines technical entrepreneurship training with leadership development and networking opportunities.

The website ylai.state.gov includes information about the YLAI Fellows Program and the YLAI Network, a free, on-line resource available for anyone looking to improve their business and interpersonal skills. Entrepreneurs and other leaders are encouraged to join the Network to access the free courses and materials to help their organizations grow.

“While designed for business leaders, the YLAI Network is a valuable free resource for anyone looking to improve their business, leadership, and organizational skills,” the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer Jake Goshert said. “And joining the YLAI Network is the best way to stay up to date on networking and training workshops we are planning for later this year, as well as to receive notifications on the application process for future YLAI cohorts.”

For further information, please contact Ingrid Hill via hillik@state.gov or via phone 748-0076. Follow the fellowship on social media using #YLAI2022.