Scholarships for Professional Exchanges, Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI)

Deadline for submission of applications: Sunday, April 23

The professional internship program, Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI) expands opportunities and empowers emerging entrepreneurs and civil society leaders to effectively contribute to the social and economic development of their communities. In 2017, 250 Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience opportunities through fellowships in business and civil society organizations in the United States. Through the YLAI Institute of Entrepreneurs and individualized mentoring for entrepreneurs, YLAI professionals will enhance the success of their business enterprises and social enterprises, and will develop specific action plans to be implemented upon their return to their countries. YLAI professional scholarship holders will also be able to build networks, links and long-lasting partnerships that will attract investment and support to their business projects. Most scholarships will be held in companies, incubators and non-governmental organizations throughout the United States, while follow-up exchanges will send Americans to Latin America and the Caribbean to continue collaboration. YLAI Fellows will receive ongoing support through a series of networks, mentoring and investment opportunities. YLAI is a program of the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State.

The YLAI professional fellows will develop the following activities:

4-week US Scholarship: With expert US mentors in your area, YLAI scholarships will acquire professional development skills in organizations or companies across the US.

The Institute of Entrepreneurs: The YLAI professional scholarship holders will expand their leadership, entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in a virtual way and in the face-to-face training that complements their US scholarship.

Summit in Washington D.C. Fellows will participate in a three-day conference and networking event with senior US government officials and leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Sustained Commitment: After successfully completing the U.S. Scholarship and the YLAI Institute for Entrepreneurs, fellows will continue their collaboration with US partners, and will have access to professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking and ex- students. YLAI professionals will also be eligible to receive innovative small grants to launch and fund activities, conference travel funds, and the opportunity to host a US mentor to share knowledge and broaden their understanding of business climate in The countries of origin of YLAI professionals.

The program is open to entrepreneurs aged 21-35 with at least two years of professional experience. YLAI professional fellows must be citizens and residents of Paraguay.

Program Coverage

The application submission to the program is free. All expenses are covered by the US government. And include:

Visa J-1
Roundtrip airfare from the participant’s country to the US, and all travel within the US required during the program.
Trainings and courses of the Institute of Entrepreneurs YLAI.
Participation in the opening of the program in Atlanta, Georgia and the Summit in Washington D.C.
Four weeks of professional development experience.
Medical and accident coverage.
Housing and meals throughout the program.
Selection criteria

The YLAI Professional Exchange Program is an open competition, based on merit. Filing the application has no cost. Once the call is closed, at 11:59 p.m. (Washington time) on Sunday, April 23, 2017, an evaluation committee will review all eligible applications. Semifinalists will be contacted to schedule an interview in June. All applicants will be notified of their situation in August 2017.

The evaluation committee of candidates to participate in the YLAI program will have the following criteria to evaluate applications and interviews:

• Demonstrate understanding of how your personal and professional goals align with the program objectives.

• Demonstrate leadership, social awareness and commitment to community or public service, mentoring or volunteering.

• Demonstrate business experience and professional knowledge.

• Demonstrate a positive attitude and perseverance.

• Commitment to your country of origin and the application of these entrepreneurial and leadership skills, for the benefit of your community and your country.

Requirements to participate

Candidates will be considered regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, nationality, age.

Important dates

– April 23, 2017 Application Deadline for the “Young Leaders of the Americas”
– April-July 2017 Applications are reviewed by the Evaluation Committee
– August 2017 Finalists and substitutes are notified
– August-September 2017 Orientation prior to departure and preparation of the program
– 4 October 2017 YLAI starts in the USA.
– 8 November 2017 Completion of YLAI in the US
– Fall 2018 US mentors travel to host countries

Informative session

The Youth Council will provide an information session on the program. To know more about it contact:

The deadline to submit applications is Sunday, April 23

To review eligibility requirements and complete the application, visit:

For Questions or Queries: