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February 7, 2024

The U.S. Mission to the Dutch Caribbean is proud to announce the 2024 cohort for the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program. Two young leaders from Aruba and one from Curacao have been selected.    

Launched in 2015, The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship program for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Western Hemisphere. During a fully funded five -week exchange program, the Fellowship offers YLAI Fellows the opportunity to improve their leadership and entrepreneurial skills through hands-on experience, online coursework, and face-to-face training. The YLAI Fellowship fosters business relationships and connections between entrepreneurs in the United Sates and those across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada.   

The Dutch Caribbean 2024 cohort is: 

Juan Gabriel Alberto Vicario, Curaçao.
Juan works in the business services sector as the CEO and Owner of Mark-a-Web Services. Mark-a-Web Services is a data protection consultancy that works to implement technology for workflow, robotic process, and AI automation and provides training and certification for employees in these areas and in ISO standards.

Julissa Ras, Aruba.
Julissa works in the paper products sector as the Director and Marketing Manager of Paper Sisters. For Aruban females aged twenty-four to forty-five looking for high-quality stationery, Paper Sisters is a retail company that provides exclusive stationery of impeccable quality.

Stephanie Pietersz, Aruba
Stephanie works in the energy and environment sector as the Managing Director of Stezo Electric Solutions. For eco-friendly locals and tourists looking for alternative forms of transportation, Stezo Electric Solutions provides a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to commute and explore Aruba, contributing to making the community healthier by producing zero emissions. 

If you are an entrepreneur aged 23-35 and want to expand your business and learn new skills, the YLAI Fellowship Program is for you. You can find more information about the YLAI Fellowship Program and the YLAI Network at https://ylai.state.gov/, and you can follow the fellowship on social media at @YLAINetwork and using #YLAI2024.

The YLAI Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by IREX. 


Three fellows from the YLAI cohort with representatives from the U.S. Consulate General and the Chief of Mission Margy Bond in front of an I Love USA sign