The U.S. Embassy today announced the 2022 cohort from Guyana for the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program.
Launched in 2015, YLAI empowers emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to enable the full economic potential of the region’s citizens. The 2022 program will begin in January and close in July, bringing together 280 young leaders from 37 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada for a fellowship.
This year, three young leaders from Guyana have been accepted out of over 2000 applicants.
Akola Thompson: A gender-based violence (GBV) specialist who leads a community of feminists in becoming stronger leaders in their homes and communities. Tamùkke Feminists provides information to women and girls on issues relevant to their social, economic, and mental development with the aim of promoting the formation of a network of feminists, who are leaders in their homes and communities. Coming to the YLAI Fellowship, Akola’s top business challenge is law and policy.
Jermaine Slater: Owner of a tutoring service and a gaming business called Slaters Gaming. The company’s pilot card game is called Jus Drink, which is based on the Guyanese Creole language. The game provided entertainment and education for local Guyanese customers, and it brought back memories of times spent in Guyana for migrant customers. The company is unique because there is no other business that produces Guyanese card games. Coming to the YLAI Fellowship, Jermaine’s top business challenge is Finance.
Ulex Smith: Founder of the Signature Move Marketing Agency, Ulex informs small businesses about the importance of brand awareness. The agency provides digital and social media services, sales and marketing strategies, simple corporate graphic designs, and more. The Signature Move Marketing Agency is unique, as it is more about customer and client satisfaction than money – “your business is our business.” Coming to the YLAI Fellowship, Ulex’s top business challenge is Finance.
The YLAI Program will begin in January with virtual engagement with the Fellowship Curriculum and participation in the virtual Opening Orientation before departing to the United States for a four-week professional placement with their Host Organization. The program concludes with a Closing Forum in Washington, D.C. in July. Fellows return to their ventures with new skills, resources, ongoing support from U.S. counterparts, and a broader network, strengthening business ties between the U.S. and Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada.