YLAI Profession Fellows Program: Application Deadline April 23, 2017

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) is a program to empower entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders so that they can launch or advance their entrepreneurial ideas, which will contribute to social and economic development in their communities.  This year, YLAI will select 250 entrepreneurs and civil society leaders across Central America and the Caribbean to participate in a 5-week program in the U.S. to help foster the skills and networks necessary to take their business or organization to the next level.  The fellowships are designed to accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. 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.  All participants must be proficient in English, be between 21 and 35 years old, have professional experience, and be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa. A full list of selection criteria can be found at https://ylai.state.gov/fellowship/.

YLAI 2017 Fellows will participate in the following program components:

Opening Program: The selected fellows will participate in a Program Opening in Atlanta, Georgia.

Four-week U.S. Fellowship: With U.S. fellowship hosts in their fields of expertise, YLAI Professional Fellows gain valuable professional development skills at entrepreneurial organizations or companies across the U.S. and work jointly on an action plan to be implemented upon Fellows’ return to their home countries.

Washington, D.C. Summit: YLAI Professional Fellows participate in a three-day conference and networking event with top U.S. government officials as well as global public, private and nonprofit leaders.

YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute: YLAI Professional Fellows expand their leadership, entrepreneurial and management skills and knowledge through online and in-person trainings that complement their U.S. Fellowship.

Post-Fellowship Sustained Engagement: After successful completion of the U.S. Fellowship and YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute, YLAI Professional Fellows continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorships, networking and alumni activities. YLAI Professional Fellows will be eligible for Innovation Small Grants to fund startup or scaling activities, Travel Grants to attend conferences, and a chance to welcome a Fellowship Host to their country to share expertise and expand the host’s understanding of the entrepreneurship climate in YLAI Professional Fellows’ home countries.

Submit your application! YLAI 2017 closes applications on Sunday, April 23, 2017. For more information visit: https://ylai.state.gov/fellowship/

YLAI Program Timeline

April 23, 2017

YLAI Professional Fellows Program application deadline

April – July 2017

Applications reviewed by the selection committee

August 2017

Finalists and alternates notified

August–September 2017

Pre-Departure Orientation and program preparation

October 3, 2017

Travel to U.S.; YLAI U.S. Program begins October 4

November 8, 2017

Departure from U.S.; YLAI U.S. Program ends November 7

Spring 2018

Select U.S. Fellowship Hosts travel to YLAI fellows’ countries