Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

What is YLAI?

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) builds connections between young leaders across the hemisphere. YLAI addresses the opportunity gap for youth, especially women, by empowering entrepreneurs and civil society leaders 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 Americas.

YLAI in Louisville

YLAI is now in its second year in Louisville, KY. It has expanded from 24 fellows in its pilot program in the spring of 2016, to more than 250 in dozens of cities around the U.S.

This year ten fellows will be living in Louisville for 4 weeks through September – October as they partner with ten local businesses to exchange ideas and learn best practices. They will be in the U.S. for a six-week exchange, beginning with an orientation in Detroit, MI and culminating with the YLAI Summit in Washington, DC.

2018 Placements

Frantzia Augustin

Country: Haiti

Business: Fafa Distribution | Promotes local artisan products.

Jamellia Imani Blythe

Country: Jamaica

Business: High Flyer Educational Services | Tutoring company

JC Cerna

Country: Nicaragua

Business: Camas Karen S.A. | Camas Karen is a mattress manufacturing company, which provides affordable beds and mattresses to the community.

Cristian Estrada

Country: Chile

Business: Eficagua | Develop technology to improve water retention, particularly in agriculture

Luz Gonzalez

Country: Dominican Republic

Business: Pretty Busy Club | Professional networking and development organization for female entrepreneurs

Daniela Hernández

Country: Mexico

Business: Maya Bacab | Supports the Mayan community through the application of traditional honey farming techniques

Fernando Marin

Country: Bolivia

Business: Andean Culture Distillery | the first whiskey distillery in Bolivia – aiming to use native crops and techniques

Name: Oscar Matienzo

Country: Cuba

Business: Textiles Productions PROCLE | A family business project dedicated to the manufacture and wholesale production of textile bags.

Iván Darío Salamanca Dussán

Country: Colombia

Business: Integra Innovacion Agroindustrial Sustentable | Design and build machinery to help livestock farmers be more efficient and adapt to climate change. Also provides consulting services in alternative energy.


Shemeon Williams

Country: Trinidad and Tobago

Business: Epsy Technical Services Limited | Repair and maintenance of medical equipment