Young Leaders of The Americas Initiative (YLAI)

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative is an exchange program that brings 280 promising leaders and young entrepreneurs from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada each year to the United States of America. The aims of this programme are to expand the leadership and entrepreneurial skills, as well as networking through skills-building workshops. It provides an excellent opportunity for participants to interact, learn from and receive mentorship guidance from successful U.S. entrepreneurs across diverse fields, which can greatly assist in the enhancement and development of their business models and entrepreneurial skills.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Selection for program participation is merit-based, and the following criteria are used when selecting program participants:

Demonstrated professional entrepreneurial experience and knowledge;

Commitment to the community or public service, mentorship, or volunteerism in their home country and to applying entrepreneurial and leadership skills, experience and knowledge to benefit their community and country;

Demonstrated understanding of how their personal and professional goals align with program objectives; and

Demonstrated leadership, commitment to their organization’s or business’s success, positive attitude, initiative, and perseverance.
Eligibility Requirements:

Interested candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Between the ages of 25 and 35 by January 1, 2024;

A resident and citizen of one of the countries in our AOR: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines;

Eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa;

A non-United States (U.S.) citizen or permanent resident of the United States;

Not a U.S. government employee;

Proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English; and have a demonstrated track record of successfully growing their own business or social venture for at least two (2) years.

Successful Participants will travel to the United States during February and March 2024 to participate in their professional placements in the United States.

Application Details

The application period opened on January 18, 2023. The deadline for submission of applications is February 15, 2023. Applications can be submitted via this link

Please click on the link below to access information with the overview.

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