The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) builds linkages between young leaders across the hemisphere. YLAI addresses the opportunity gap for youth, especially women, by empowering business and social entrepreneurs with the training, tools, networks, and resources they need to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human rights, and good governance in the hemisphere.
There are two active YLAI programs in Guatemala:
· YLAI Professional Fellows
· YLAI Network
The YLAI Network is a vibrant community of young entrepreneurs and changemakers from across Latin America and the Caribbean committed to fostering economic development and prosperity, security, human rights, and good governance in the hemisphere.
The YLAI Network is a signature part of the U.S. government’s efforts to increase partnerships with future leaders to promote economic growth and strengthen civil society. Joining the network provides access to digital resources, training and networking opportunities, and the
opportunity to connect with senior leaders in business and government as well as other young leaders working to create change in their communities. Join the YLAI Network here: https://ylai.state.gov/network/.
YLAI Professional Fellows Scholarship
The YLAI Fellowship Program is a six-week program for entrepreneurs, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). YLAI brings 280 promising leaders from Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean each year to the United States* to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial skills and network through skills-building workshops and opportunities to learn from and exchange with U.S. counterparts.
This program is open to young entrepreneurs 25-35 years of age, selected for participation via a competitive application process. More than 750 alumni of past YLAI Professional Fellows programs maintain a cohesive network across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to support each other’s efforts to improve their own ventures, share best practices, and collaborate to reduce the opportunity gap and contribute to economic prosperity in their communities.
The YLAI Professional Fellows program is a six-week program designed for entrepreneurs. Due to the intensive nature of the YLAI Professional Fellows program, successful applicants must be focused fully on their professional development and program activities during the entirety of the six-week fellowship in the United States. Therefore, YLAI Professional Fellows is an unaccompanied program, which means no additional guests may join any YLAI fellow during the fellowship and all program activities must be completed in their entirety by each fellow.
The YLAI Fellowship includes:
· Four-Week Placement: In cities across the United States, YLAI Fellows gain valuable professional development skills and experience at U.S. entrepreneurial organizations related to the fellow’s business sector. Each fellow collaborates with their fellowship host on an Entrepreneurial Leadership Action Plan (E-LAP), which the fellow will implement upon return to their home country.
· YLAI Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum: The YLAI Professional Fellows program includes online and in-person coursework, developed by IREX and ASU, that combines technical entrepreneurship training and leadership development. Using the E-LAP, each fellow will set and achieve their entrepreneurial leadership goals.
· Orientation and YLAI Closing Forum in the United States: YLAI Fellows participate in the U.S. orientation in Tempe, Arizona, and the YLAI Closing Forum in Washington, D.C., as well as various networking events with business and social entrepreneurial leaders and U.S. government representatives.
· Post-Fellowship Sustained Engagement: After successful completion of the U.S. fellowship and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum, YLAI fellows continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, small grants, mentorships, networking, and alumni activities. YLAI fellows will also have the opportunity to welcome a fellowship host to their country through the Outbound Program, sharing their expertise on the entrepreneurship climate in their country.