The United States Embassy has announced the 2018 finalists from Suriname for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program. The program represents part of a commitment by the US to increase trade and investment in the region, and according to US vice president Mike Pence, to bring “even more of our business culture of entrepreneurship and innovation” throughout Latin America, according to US vice president Mike Pence. The eight Jamaicans who were selected in a competitive application process from 2,500 individuals include Andre Robb, Brat Box and Co.; Gavin Lindsay, Merit Holdings Ltd; Camellia Blythe, High Flyer Educational Services; Kenisha Mays, Thriving Dollars Co.; Kerri-Anne Walker, Kei Dub; Nicolae Witter, Enablers of Community Advancement Projects and Initiatives (ECAPI) Limited; Rory-Craig Walker, Jamaican Care Packages (JCP); and Shawnie Bailey, Zara belle.
Andre Robb is the co-founder and CEO of Brat Box & Co, a company that curates items made by local Jamaican artisans, helping them to expand their market through e-commerce. He has a BA degree in economics from the University of the West Indies, Mona.
Shawnie Bailey is the founder and managing director of Zarabelel Limited, a people management service firm based in Jamaica. The business uses an online database to match people with clients and can provide crews for events and production as well as talent for film and print media. In 2014 and 2015, she served as a logistics and project coordinator for the Feeding of the 5000.
Camellia Imani Blythe is the founder and managing director of High Flyer Educational Services, an alternative education organization dedicated to creating and maintaining alternative teaching and learning environments to ensure students reach their highest potential. She has a BA in English from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and has taught Business and English Language at the Charlie Smith High School. She is a communication instructor at the Heart Trust/NTA.
Kenisha Mays is the founder of ThrivingDollars, a financial education platform designed to empower young people to make smarter financial decisions. She has a BA degree in Banking and Finance from the University of the West Indies.
Gavin Lindsay is the co-founder of Merit Holdings Ltd., a Jamaican tourist company that promotes tourism, employment, and sustainability by curating all-inclusive passes for visitors that allows them to enjoy total immersion in an authentic Jamaican experience. He was the Director and Department Head of product development at Island Pass Jamaica. He has a BA in economics from the University of the West Indies.
Kerri-Anne C. Walker founded Kei Dub, the Jamaican business and lifestyle coaching firm, which is dedicated to the success of artists and creators who are less comfortable operating the business portion of their ventures. She an assistant for the Jamaica Football Federation, as well as an arts/culture business coach, and an animation documentation specialist. She has a BA in linguistics from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and is currently pursuing an MA in Arts and Culture Management from the Rome Business School.
Rory-Craig Richard Walker is the founder and CEO of Jamaican Care Packages, a company that helps Jamaicans stay connected to their culture by delivering gift baskets and local products to Jamaicans who have left the island. He was a developer and programmer for Toucan Interactive Jamaica and a Developer Fellow for Slash Roots/Code for the Caribbean. He has a BA in Computer Science from the University of the West Indies.
Nicolae Witter is the co-founder and project and administrative coordinator of Enablers of Community Advancement Projects and Initiatives (ECAPI). This organization seeks to facilitate community development via sustainable partnerships. She has a BA in General Chemistry and Food Processing from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and a postgraduate diploma in General Management from the Management Institute for National Development. She has worked as an administrative assistant for ACDI/VOCA, a scientiﬁc officer for H20 Technical Services Limited, and as an administrative assistant for Jamaica Information Services.
The 2018 YLAI Professional Fellows program lasts five weeks and is sponsored by the US Department of State, will bring 250 young leaders from 36 Latin American and Caribbean nations to the US to learn from their American counterparts and share best practices.
Information and Photo Source: US Embassy