Two Nationals selected as Fellows of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI)

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 12, 2017– Kittitian, Ms. Akila S. Henry and Nevisian, Mr. Tito Chapman have both been selected through a competitive application process, which attracted over 3,000 applicants, to form part of the prestigious 2017 YLAI Professional Fellowship Program.

The program brings together 250 business and social entrepreneurs from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, for a four week fellowship throughout the United States. The Program, which commenced in Atlanta, Georgia on October 4, will allow fellows to collaborate with their counterparts in businesses and civil society organizations, in 24 cities across the United States. Through this exchange program, Fellows will advance their entrepreneurial ideas and build leadership skills, to effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities.

The Fellows hail from a wide variety of areas, which include but are not limited to, agriculture, clean energy, consulting, e-commerce, education, entrepreneurship development and support, food and beverage, health care, hospitality, LGBTQI, marketing and branding, mobile applications, and women and youth empowerment.

Ms. Henry is the Founder and President of a domestic violence organization, Hope by Help. The mission of her organization is to raise awareness about domestic violence through advocacy, sharing of resources, and assistance. She is also the Media Officer at the Ministry of Education and holds a B.A. in Communication, specializing in Speech Communication from the University of the Virgin Islands.

Mr. Chapman is the Founder and CEO of SKN PULSE, a media and advertising company. SKN PULSE allows its customers to market their businesses, run social media campaigns, and create brand awareness in an effective way. He has previously worked as a teacher, coach, and mentor at the Joycelyn Liburd Primary School and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College.

The YLAI program concludes with a closing Summit in early November in Washington, D.C. focused on leadership and skills development training. Fellows are expected to return to their ventures with new skills, resources, ongoing support from U.S. counterparts, and an improved network, strengthening business ties between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The YLAI Professional Fellowship Program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and implemented by Meridian International Center in partnership with Atlas Corps and Entrepreneurs’ Organization and community-based members and universities throughout the United States.