First Class of Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Program

The White House has announced the inaugural class of Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellows. President Obama launched YLAI last year to expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and civil society innovators in Latin America and the Caribbean. The inaugural YLAI class brings 250 promising young business and social entrepreneurs from across Latin America to invest in and accelerate the work of young leaders who are making their communities and countries more prosperous and secure.

Eight Jamaicans were selected among the 250 promising young business and social entrepreneurs to participate in this program. The participants are Patria-Kaye Aarons, Craslyn Benjamin, Tishauna Mullings, Renee Stewart, Latoya West-Blackwood, Javette Nixon, Kadeem Pet-Grave and Miguel ‘Steppa’ Williams.

Participants will travel to the United States for a five-week program. This will strengthen their leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurial skills and provide networking opportunities with U.S. entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. It is also expected that participants will connect with each other and diaspora communities while being empowered to tackle shared global challenges.

YLAI, one of four programs within the Young Leaders Initiatives, is a part of President Obama’s commitment to empower young people around the world to build stronger, more prosperous, and more secure communities throughout the hemisphere. The 2016 class of YLAI and bios are posted here: (PDF 4.2mb)