U.S. Embassy Announces the 2023 Cohort of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program

Paramaribo: The U.S. Embassy Paramaribo is proud to announce the 2023 cohort from Suriname for the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program: Eurwin Daans – CEO of The Business Opportunity Bus; Ijota Soké – CEO of Shaggi’s Apartments & More; Jill Sumter – Chairperson of Buurtorganisatie Pontbuiten & Omgeving; Romano Jalimsingh – CEO of Night Owl Projects N.V.; Varsha Boejharat – CEO of Papeeta Basket; Zenani van Throo – CEO of Sparkle Waxing Bar & More.

Launched in 2015, YLAI empowers emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to enable the full economic potential of the region’s citizens. This year’s YLAI fellowship program launched in December 2022 and will continue through June 2023, bringing together 280 young leaders from 37 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. We are pleased to announce that six young leaders from Suriname have been accepted out of over 1,800 applicants from across the hemisphere.

The 2023 YLAI Fellowship Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, launched in December with a virtual Fellowship Leadership Curriculum and orientation. In May, fellows will split into cohorts and travel to 19 cities across the United States for four-week professional placements with U.S. businesses. They will collaborate with their peers to address shared business challenges, as well as engage in virtual and in-person events and cross-cultural activities.

The program concludes with a Closing Forum in Washington, D.C. in June. Fellows return to their ventures with new skills, resources, ongoing support from U.S. counterparts, and a broader network, strengthening business ties between the U.S. and Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Read the full U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs press release here.

Since 2015, more than 1,240 YLAI Fellows have built connections with 900+ U.S. fellowship placement organizations; 84 percent of these Fellows attracted new resources within one year of completing the program.

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

For further information, please contact Ingrid Hill via hillik@state.gov or via the phone (597)748-0076.

Follow the fellowship on social media using #YLAI2023.