“My Experience in Great Ecology, My Placement Organization” by Agustina Tierno, YLAI Alumn from Uruguay

Agustina Tierno is the founder and CEO of Bio-Observatories. She was one of 248 fellows participating in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 2016, a professional fellows program that empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean. YLAI focuses on strengthening their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. – October 11th, 2016, the first day I arrived at Great Ecology, I was kindly received by Jessa Spainhower and we talked about our backgrounds, expectations and possibilities for collaboration. I...

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“YLAI Has Changed My Entrepreneurial Life” by Michelle Guimarães, YLAI Alumna from Brazil

Michelle Guimarães is the founder and CEO of Visit Manaus. She is one of 248 fellows who participated in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), a professional fellows program that empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean. YLAI focuses on strengthening their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. – YLAI has changed my entrepreneurial life! It has opened a lot of opportunities for me. Although I’m still looking for funds to develop the project that I presented in...

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The Values of Courage and Humility by Timothy Kane

On December 8-9, I had the honor to engage 26 international visitors (IV) from Afghanistan in a leadership workshop during an exchange program coordinated by Meridian International Center entitled U.S. – China Training Programs for Afghan Cooperation and Reconstruction. This unique group was comprised of diverse key stakeholders from two distinct sectors of Afghan society: agriculture and public health. More specifically, the IVs representing agriculture were livestock specialists fighting animal diseases and the public health participants were specialists, doctors, and midwives safeguarding the health of women and newborns. Needless to say, this group embodied a diversity of backgrounds and...

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“A Golden Opportunity: The 2016 Let Girls Learn U.S. Exchange Program” by Karima Er-Reyahy, A Moroccan Let Girls Learn Participant

During my high school life, I was always known as the social butterfly. I spoke to everyone, tried to engage in every social activity that is available, and hence I met a lot of people who told me about exchange programs. Thanks to them, I participated in English Access Microscholarship Program, Techgirls, and Let Girls Learn. I would like to shed the light on the latter. Let Girls Learn is an initiative started by the first lady of the United States of America Michelle Obama to help girls around the world get the education they deserve. This program had...

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PAYLP Through the Eyes of a Meridian Intern

 “This program has offered me the opportunity to experience what I’ve learned in school, a lot of what I teach my pupils and read on the internet and books…. I am sure this will breed a group of young leaders with a hunger for success.” (Private Mchenga of Malawi, PAYLP Adult Mentor participant) Students will often look to adults, school, and friends to shape the things they do not know. When that is not enough television and movies fill in the gaps.  As it turns out, romanticized perceptions, movies, and television often steer us further away from the reality...

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