On Friday November 10th 2017, Sacha Harris and Michelle N. Samuel returned home to St. Lucia from their 6 week journey as official Alumnae from the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 2017.
Michelle and Sacha were both selected out of over 4,000 applicants for this year’s stint of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative – launched by former President Barak Obama. The two represented the island during this program which commenced on October 3rd in Atlanta, Georgia. After the conclusion of the launch, the two went their separate ways and were assigned to their ‘city hubs’, where they would each engage in a month long Fellowship with an established organization in relation to their business and social ventures. Sacha travelled to Chicago, Illinois and Michelle travelled to Kansas City, Missouri. In their respective ‘city hubs’, their fellowship included job shadowing, training and exchange of ideas, at an organization (Host Placement) where they both acquired substantial knowledge in their respective fields.
Both Michelle and Sacha believe that their Fellowships provided them the experience, knowledge and insight that they both needed, in order to fuel their respective ventures, and in doing so, will hopefully by God’s grace, make an impact on Education, Entrepreneurship and Unemployment in St. Lucia.
The duo’s arrival back home is quite timely as the entire month of November is celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week and St. Lucia Business Month. Michelle decided to capitalize on this by making her own contribution to the observance of both Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and St. Lucia Business Month by writing a series of articles and publishing interview videos featuring Entrepreneurs who have made their mark either by winning certain competitions, or showing moments of resilience before, during and after the YLAI Program 2016 and 2017. The first of which is scheduled to air online on Wednesday November 22nd from 7 pm to 8 pm. These features can be viewed online and interested persons must use the Eventbrite reservation link in order to view. The link can be found on Michelle’s company’s Facebook page SLUDTERA.
This year, a total of fifty four (54) Entrepreneurs from the Caribbean participated in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. Though none of them won the top prizes at the Washington D.C. Summit, some of them went on to win other competitions held in their home island countries.
The Caribbean island countries which were represented at this year’s YLAI Program were; Antigua & Barbuda; 2 Entrepreneurs – Elijah James & Janese Henderson, the Bahamas; 3 Entrepreneurs – Constentina Hamilton, Kerel Pindar & Xavier Knowles, Barbados; 2 Entrepreneurs – Khala Hurdle & Paul Husbands, Curacao; 2 Entrepreneurs – Shamiro Anita & Flavina Wanga, Dominica; 2 Entrepreneurs – Avena Prince & Eber Ravariere, the Dominican Republic; 5 Entrepreneurs – Roniel Toribio, Maria Hernandez, Julia Martinez, John Presime & Michelle Ricardo, Grenada; 3 Entrepreneurs – Teddy Frederick, Carlene Perryman & Tamara Prosper, Guyana; 3 Entrepreneurs – Suzanne Hamilton, Charles Hutson & Christine Profitt , Haiti; 7 Entrepreneurs – Jacquelin Alcius, Watson Cesaire, Miguelito Jerome, Altagrace Maignan, Marie Morett & Jeffsky Poincy, Jamaica; 8 Entrepreneurs – Christine Daley, Carey-Lee Dixon, Kiddist McCoy, Randy McLaren, Neish McLean, Fonnique Miller, Dave Oakley & Charah Watson, St. Kitts & Nevis; 2 Entrepreneurs – Akila S. Henry & Tito Chapman, St. Lucia; 2 Entrepreneurs – Sacha Harris & Michelle N. Samuel, St. Vincent & the Grenadines; 1 Entrepreneur – Jeneille Lewis, Sint Maarten; 1 Entrepreneur – Rajendra Mohess, Suriname; 6 Entrepreneurs – Quinsny Abelinti, Cherelys Sing, Jason Jones, Nancy Nunes, Kishan Ramsukul & Sean Resosemito, and Trinidad & Tobago; 5 Entrepreneurs – Keron Bascombe, Ricky Bhowram, Brent Eversley, Mel Gabriel & Kristle Gangadeen.
We look forward to seeing what these accomplished Entrepreneurs from the YLAI Program of 2016 & 2017 have to share with St. Lucia and with other Entrepreneurs of the world.