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 Professional Fellows Program

YLAI is now in its second year nationally and its first year in Louisville. 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 throughout the month of October as they partner with eleven 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 Atlanta, Georgia, and culminating with the YLAI Summit in November in Washington, DC. Their time in Louisville will end with a Pitch Competition open to the public, where the fellows will pitch their businesses to a judges’ panel of Louisville business leaders. The winner will go on to participate in a second competition in D.C.

2017 YLAI Fellows and Hosts

Quinsny Georvio Abelinti

Host: YouthBuild

Country: Suriname

Business/Organization: Joblink N.V.- In an effort to reduce the difficulties of those searching for jobs, especially youths, Joblink N.V. uses its knowledge and professionalism to recruit the best candidates for job openings.

Jose Alberto Lema Guaman

Host: Superior Meats, Inc.

Country: Ecuador

Business/Organization: CUYEMPAK- Focuses on providing quality guinea pig meat products and raising production standards. They provide training on how to increase productivity and maintain sustainable production methods.

Amanda Eloisa Rios Carrasco

Host: Quills Coffee

Country: Chile

Business/Organization: Aranték Ltda- A company that creates teas with unique Patagonian flavors.

Florencia Fredes Lauret

Host: New Directions Housing Corporation

Country: Argentina

Business/Organization: Vivamos Juntos/ Vivienda Colaborativa-Cohousing- A co-housing and collaborative neighborhood venture in Argentina. Vivamos Juntos seeks to promote co-housing in Latin America as an innovative and sustainable lifestyle where people maintain private homes but participate in the design of shared common facilities that bring social, environmental, and economic benefits for its residents.

Sandra Mabel Acosta De Ardon

Host: NIA Center, Economic Development, Lou Forward

Country: El Salvador

Business/Organization: DESKRITORIO Coworking & StartUpHub

Milagro del Carmen Menjivar Osorto

Host: Anchal Project

Country: El Salvador

Business/Organization: Sola Gratia- A jewelry and accessories company that partners with artisans in El Salvador to create unique products from environmentally-friendly materials. Sola Gratia helps empower artisans and create jobs.

Raul Miguel Valenzuela Tadeo

Host: Louisville Grows

Country: Peru

Business/Organization: Lima Compost- In an effort to reduce environmental damage caused by poor management of organic waste, Lima Compost provides the training and tools necessary for domestic composting.

Perla Andrea Villagran Mérida

Hosts: Forage, Mahonia

Country: Guatemala

Business/Organization: Flowerfull- A company that makes promotional products, invitations, and jewelry using organic succulent flowers. Flowerfull addresses the need for innovative marketing in the events industry to give extra value to clients.

Rodrigo González

Host: Sunstrand

Country: Chile

Business/Organization: Patrimonio Silvestre SpA- A company developing a sustainable agriculture for wild and native products of Chile including the Native communities and Harvest communities from the Southern Patagonia region.

Karen Paola Gómez López

Host: Louisville City FC

Country: Costa Rica

Business/Organization: L.E.A Costa Rica- Plans to combat the increasing drug trade by investing in social programs that offer alternative options to young people in the communities of La Cuesta and Paso Canoas.