Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI)

What is YLAI?

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers innovative leaders to build their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and contribute to social and economic development in their communities.

For one month, YLAI participants referred to as “Professional Fellows” meet with like-minded companies, work alongside and are mentored by a local professional counterpart, and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. YLAI Professional Fellows build networks, linkages, and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures.

In 2016, UCCD worked with ten YLAI Professional Fellows from various Latin America and Caribbean countries by connecting them with host businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide a mentorship.  Additionally, the Professional Fellows met once a week for workshops focused on key aspects of entrepreneurial activity and skills needed for success.  UCCD is excited to once again host YLAI professional in 2017.  Please stay tuned for program updates in the fall.  

To learn more about YLAI and what the alumni are up to, visit the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative.

Pitch Competition 2017

 

Pitch_YLAI_2017_Utah Council for Citizen DiplomacyRegister at pitchSLC.eventbrite.com
A free & open to the public event.

Bolivia: Andrea Toro Ortuno

Andrea Toro Ortuno YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Andrea Toro Ortuno is the co-founder and general manager of Terrena, co-creating with nature. This business offers organic, local, and fair trade produce and regenerative design services. Andrea also works as a freelance trainer, offering consulting services to NGOs. She worked as a leadership trainer and educator in a variety of other capacities. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University Simón I. Patiño. 

Andrea will complete her fellowship with the Women's Business Center

 

 

 

Bolivia: Mirabel Alipaz Portugal

Maribel Alipaz Portugal YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Maribel Alipaz Portugal is the Founder of Mis Ultimos Días Con Dignidad, an organization dedicated to promoting a mindful society about the rights that people declared terminally ill through information campaigns and the creation of the first Bolivian hospice that provides palliative care for people with less than 6 months of life expectancy.  Maribel has extensive medical experience, having worked at Seguro Social Universitario La Paz and at the Rural Hospital of Tipuani. Maribel has her Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine from Universidad Mayor de San Andrés.

Maribel will complete her fellowship with The INN Between.

 

 

 

Colombia: Juan Camilo Herrera

Juan Camilo Herrera YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Juan Camilo Herrera is the Co-Founder and COO of Neoland, a company that creates products out of 100% recycled rubber. This company seeks to find ways to reduce the amount of waste that tires contribute to the environmental problems of the region by reinventing them as something new. Juan has previously worked for a customs agency in Bogota where he developed his public speaking, presentation, and sales skills. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the Hult International Business School.

Juan will complete his fellowship with Eco Green Equipment.

 

 

 

Dominica: Avena Prince

Avena Prince YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Avena Prince is the manager, marketer, and fashion designer at Royal Globe Inc., which provides training in various vocations. One such vocation is fashion, as Royal Globe Inc. designs and produces custom women's clothing through its subsidiary Vee's Couture. Prior to this, Avena worked as a sales and marketing supervisor for ten years and then as an insurance sales agent. She holds a diploma in sales and marketing from Cambridge International College.

Avena will complete her fellowship with Cotopaxi.

 

 

 

Ecuador: Jéssica Silva Mendoza

Jéssica Silva Mendoza YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Jéssica Silva Mendoza is the Co-Founder and CFO of PLAY Business School. PLAY holds workshops, boot camps, and mentoring programs to engage participants and make learning easier. Jéssica has experience working in project management for the Secretaria Nacional del Migrante, ECU 911, and AMBEV- Cerveceria Nacional. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, and a Master’s Degree in Financial and Corporate Projects from the Universidad de Guayaquil.

Jéssica will complete her fellowship with Boom Startup.

 

 

 

Haiti: Watson Cesaire

Watson Cesaire YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Watson Cesaire is the founder of Sante Lakay, an organization dedicated to enhancing health care in Haiti through clinics and educational programs. Sante Lakay strives to provide accessible dental and primary medical care throughout Haiti. Watson was previously the Vice President of Corps des Chirurgiens-Dentistes Volontaires. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Dental Surgery from Faculte d`Odontologie, UEH.

Watson will complete his fellowship with Association for Utah Community Health.

 

 

 

Honduras: Ricardo Diaz Meraz

Ricardo Diaz Meraz YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Ricardo Diaz Meraz is the Co-Founder of Trigona, which produces eco-friendly, market-quality products derived from honey and beekeeping. Trigona provides new technology for beekeepers in rural areas of Honduras to enhance their production. Additionally, it establishes fair trade between consumers and producers. Ricardo holds a Master's Degree in Tropical Beekeeping from the National University of Costa Rica.

Ricardo will complete his fellowship with The Honey Stop.

 

 

 

Mexico: Xavier Retif

Xavier Retif YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Xavier Retif is the Founder of Bazar Malta, a beer boutique. Bazar Malta offers over 150 beers from 20 Mexican states, bringing recognition to Mexican craft beer and promoting the local economy. Xavier previously worked as a Senior Financial Analyst with Seagate and as a Financial Specialist for IBM. He holds a Master's Degree in Finance from EAE Business School.

Xavier will complete his fellowship with Tin Angel and Gardner Village.

 

 

 

Nicaragua: Maria Julia Alvarez

Maria Julia Alvarez YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Maria Julia Alvarez is the Founder of the clothing brand F5 refresh, created to bring fun, high-quality, and fashionable clothes to the Nicaraguan market and to help the local economy. The company addresses the lack of diverse clothing brands and the need for ready-to-wear clothes in Nicaragua. Maria previously volunteered with Mision Bosawas. She holds an Associate's Degree in Architecture from the National University of Engineering, Peru.

Maria will complete her fellowship with Made, Natalie Wynn Bridal & Design, and Afa Ah Loo.

 

 

 

Venezuela: María Valentina González

María Valentina González YLAI Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

María Valentina González is the Co-Founder of Paradiso, an organization that constructs urban gardens. Paradiso’s goal is to strengthen the relationship between institutions and communities through public spaces in cities. She is also Director of Design at INCURSIONES, a social initiative that creates new ways to design public spaces. Previously, she worked in the Creative Department for Imaginarios de Venezuela. She received her BA in Architecture from the Universidad Simón Bolívar.

María will complete her fellowship with Wasatch Community Garden.

 

 

 

2017 Host Organizations

 

AFA AH Loo YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy AUCH YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy BoomStartup YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy  Cotopaxi YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy  EcoGreen YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy  GV Logo_YLAI_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy Honey Stop YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy INN Between YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacymade YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy Natalie Wynn YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy Tin Angel YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy  

 

Wasatch Community Gardens YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Womens Business Center YLAI Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy