Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative
YLAI is also a month-long initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The participants stay in an extended-stay hotel in downtown Little Rock. This brings great revenue into our city and also recognition of the works we do as citizen diplomats within the community. They are paired with local mentors primarily to develop their entrepreneurial expertise. There is a reciprocal exchange with YLAI as well.
2018 YLAI Pitch contest winner, Johanan Dujon from St. Lucia, was the grand prize winner of $7,500. Johanan worked with Chris Hiryak of Little Rock Urban Farms for his Fellowship Host. Johanan was selected as the best Pitch out of 250 other YLAI fellows.
Two of our 2016 YLAI fellows have been awarded grants to further their entrepreneurial goals. Another two will be attending a YLAI Regional Workshop in Jamaica where one of the Little Rock fellowship hosts will present an entrepreneurship session.
In 2017, two of our YLAI fellows were awarded the reciprocal exchange to go to their fellow’s country in spring of 2018.
The Rep’s Anna Kimmell, traveled to Chile to work with her fellow, Camila Roa Yanez
The ARC of Arkansas’s Cindy Fong, traveled to Peru to work with Ezaeza Sanz in her project with Autistic children.