Eight Jamaicans Chosen for Obama’s Young Leaders’ Initiative

United States President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Young Leaders of the Americas initiative when he visited Jamaica in April 2015. Eight Jamaicans are among the first 250 young leaders selected to participate in the entrepreneurship program. The initiative is designed to expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and innovators in civil society in the Caribbean and Latin America. According to the United States Embassy, participants will go to the States for a five-week program aimed at strengthening the leadership, innovations and entrepreneurship skills, as well as to provide networking opportunities with entrepreneurs and investors in the United States, Diaspora communities, and other participants. The Jamaicans chosen for the program are Patria-Kaye Aarons, CEO of the Jamaican candy company, Sweetie that captures authentic Caribbean flavors like mango and guava; Craslyn Benjamin of Benlar Foods Limited, which focuses on producing and selling high quality fresh fruits and vegetable products in domestic and international markets; Tishauna Mullings, owner of NexxStepp Personal Development Services and Inspirational Products, which maximizes customers’ potential by offering services such as tutoring for major school exams, reading classes, life purpose coaching, career consultancy, and personal and professional development; Javette Nixon, founder, president and CEO of Point Global Marketing Limited, amarketing and brand development firm focusing on the marketing and brand design of growth companies; Kadeem Pet-Grave, co-founder and CEO of Educatours JA Ltd,, a Jamaican-based educational tour company fueled by gamification and technology; Renee Stewart, whose A Home for Girls Foundation helps young women living in state-owned juvenile facilities; Latoya West-Blackwood, founder of iPublish Consultancy, Jamaica’s first registered full-service publishing consultancy; and Miguel ‘Steppa’ Williams, founder and a director of the Forward Step Foundation, a NGO catering to the needs of high risk youth and communities.