Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program

Become a YLAI Fellow Meet the YLAI Fellows Become a Fellowship Host Resource Library FAQ

For more information, please contact YLAI Professional Fellows Program Team at YLAI@meridian.org. To inquire about the application process, please email YLAIApply@meridian.org. For media inquiries, please email press@meridian.org.

Meridian International Center is pleased to implement the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. YLAI empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to advance their entrepreneurial ventures and effectively contribute to economic and social development in their communities. In fall 2018, 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and organizations across the United States. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute and the individualized Fellowships, YLAI Fellows will accelerate their ventures’ success and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. YLAI Fellows will build networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures.

Since fall of 2016, over 500 entrepreneurs from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have successfully participated in the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. Learn more about the YLAI Fall 2016 Cohort here, the YLAI 2017 Cohort here, and the upcoming YLAI 2018 Cohort here.

To complement the U.S.-based program, U.S. Fellowship Hosts can participate in the YLAI Reverse Exchange, where they travel to the region to learn organizational practices at the Fellows’ businesses, share best practices, and support Fellows’ action plan progress. Additionally, U.S. Fellowship Hosts participate in local programming to benefit the Fellows' home community.  Since fall of 2016, over 70 U.S.-based Fellowship Hosts have participated in a Reverse Exchange. Learn more about YLAI Alumni activities here.

Meridian is proud to partner with community-based members and universities throughout the U.S.

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