President Obama’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) seeks to empower young entrepreneurs and diligent innovative civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to design and advance life changing entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to making their communities economically dependent. In fall 2016, a total of 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from across Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and civil society organizations across the U.S. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute and the individualized Entrepreneur Mentorships, YLAI Fellows will accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. YLAI Professional Fellows will build networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures. YLAI 2016 Professional Fellows will be part of the following:
- Four-week Fellowship: Working alongside several U.S. mentors in their field of expertise, accepted YLAI Professional Fellows will gain valuable professional development skills at entrepreneurial organizations or companies across the U.S. and work jointly on a venture Action Plan to be implemented upon the fellows’ return to their individual and respective countries.
- Washington, D.C., Summit: YLAI Professional Fellows will be opportuned to participate in a three-day conference and networking event with top U.S. government officials as well as global public, private and nonprofit leaders.
- YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute: YLAI Professional Fellows no doubt will hone and expand their leadership, entrepreneurial and management skills through carefully curated online and in-person trainings that complement their U.S. Fellowship.
- Sustained Engagement Post Fellowship: After successful completion of the U.S. Fellowship and YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute, YLAI Professional Fellows continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorships, networking and alumni activities. YLAI Professional Fellows will be eligible for Innovation Small Grants to fund startup or scaling activities, Travel Grants to conferences, and a chance to Host a U.S. Mentor to share expertise and expand mentors’ understanding of the entrepreneurship climate in YLAI Professional Fellows’ home countries.
You won’t be required to pay a fee to apply to become a YLAI Professional Fellow. All YLAI Professional Fellows Program expenses will be duly covered by the U.S. government.
- J-1 visa support.
- Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the United States and all required program travel.
- YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute training and courses.
- Program opening in Dallas and summit in Washington, D.C.
- Four-week professional development experience.
- Accident and sickness medical coverage.
- Housing and meals throughout the program.
Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, national origin, disability or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law. Applicants with disabilities are eligible and encouraged to apply for the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. The YLAI Professional Fellows Program is open to young entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria:
- Are between the ages of 21 and 35 on the start date of the YLAI Professional Fellows Program.
- Are a resident and citizen of one of the participating countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
- Are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa.
- Have at least two (2) years of entrepreneurial/leadership experience, preferably with a startup business or social venture.
- Are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- Are not U.S. government employees.
- Are proficient in reading, writing and speaking English.
The application process seeks to collect basic information and to better understand an applicant’s’ qualifications for the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. Questions contained in the application will include candidate’s’ professional background and experience with their own business or social ventures, volunteer activities and English language proficiency. The application will request a copy of applicant’s’ business or organization plans and resumes.
If you are interested in applying, please click here