Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

YLAI Meridian logos
YLAI Meridian logos

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. In fall 2017, 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and civil society organizations across the U.S. YLAI Professional Fellows will build networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures. YLAI 2017 Professional Fellows will participate in:

  • Four-week Fellowship with U.S. Fellowship Host
  • A three-day conference and networking event with U.S government officials and entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C.
  • Entrepreneurship Institute trainings that complement the U.S Fellowship
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities, networking, and alumni activities

To Apply

Selection criteria:

Participants must: be between the ages of 21 and 35; be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa; have at least 2 years of entrepreneurial/leadership experience; and be proficient in reading, writing and speaking English. Participants cannot be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or be government employees.

Who is eligible to apply?

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.

Financial provisions:

There is no fee to apply to become a YLAI Professional Fellow. All YLAI Professional Fellows Program expenses are covered by the U.S. government.