Iraqi Youth Leadership Exchange Program (YLAI)


The YLAI Professional Fellows program is a 5-week program for entrepreneurs that brings 250 promising leaders from Latin America, Canada, and  the Caribbean  to the United States to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial skills and network through skills-building workshops and opportunities to learn from and exchange with U.S. counterparts. Participants are young entrepreneurs 25-35 years of age, selected via a competitive application process. More than 500 alumni of past YLAI Professional Fellows Programs maintain a cohesive network across Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean to support each other’s efforts to improve their own ventures, share best practices, and collaborate to reduce the opportunity gap and contribute to economic prosperity in their communities.

The sponsoring U.S. organization then has an opportunity to participate in a  fully funded reverse exchange program to:

  • Implement community impact project with the fellows.
  • Learn about the Fellows’ business.
  • Share best practices and support the Fellows’ Action Plans.

International Focus is one of several hosting communities. 


Our YLAI fellow has been a joy to have around. She always has great energy and a positive attitude and we have all enjoyed learning more about Jamaican culture.
Hallot Parson
Co-Owner, Escazu Artizan Chocolates

From the very first day our YLAY fellow established contact with his coworkers and became a great addition to their team.
Joseph Bland
Owner, Raleigh Coffee Company

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