US Embassy Announces 2018 Finalists for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Program

U.S. Embassy Nassau congratulates the three Bahamians selected to participate in the prestigious Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Program. The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds the initiative. The program brings together 250 business and social entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States to collaborate with counterparts in businesses and organizations in 20 cities across the United States.

These 250 business and social entrepreneurs represent 36 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and focus on topics including, but not limited to, agriculture, clean energy, consulting, e-commerce, education, entrepreneurship development and support, food and beverage, health care, hospitality, marketing and branding, mobile applications, and women and youth empowerment.

The three Bahamian YLAI Fellows selected include:

Paul Frazier, Jr., Founder and President of Gravitas Bahamas, a company that seeks to keep young talent in the Bahamas through scholarships, networking events, and culture and education programs.

Regina R. Smith, the Founder and Managing Director of Firehouse Spice Company, a Nassau-based business that produces spices, peppers, and marinades. Ms. Smith established the company to encourage, promote, and sustain the growth and development of unique and authentically Bahamian products.

LaTravalia “Tray” Williams, Founder of Wing Ding Carry Out, a restaurant in Freeport. In addition to providing quality customer service, Wing Ding aims to help its community by having a locally-sourced menu with affordable prices.

The YLAI Professional Fellows Program will begin on September 20 in Detroit, Michigan, followed by four-week fellowships throughout the United States. The program concludes with a Closing Forum in October in Washington, D.C. focused on leadership and skills development training.