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U.S. Embassy Belize congratulates owner of Kaj Expressions on becoming 2022 YLAI Ambassador

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2022. 2:49 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Thursday, July 21, 2022, the United States Embassy in Belize joined in congratulating entrepreneur, Khadija Assales, owner of Kaj Expressions, who won the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) solution pitch competition and became the 2022 YLAI Ambassador.

Assales was hosted by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan to honor her win.

Khadija will act as representative of the 2022 YLAI Fellowship Program, appear as guest speaker for YLAI events, and serve as mentor for future fellows.

Since its launch in 2015, the U.S. Department of State’s YLAI Fellowship Program empowers emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to enable the full economic potential of the region’s citizens.

The program brought together 280 young leaders from 37 countries to build lasting and sustainable networks of young entrepreneurs and business and social leaders across the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, and the United States. 

 Fellows complete the YLAI Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum and travel to the United States to work along U.S. business owners in their fields, often those who are facing similar challenges. 

The program is a collaborative, enriching experience that combines technical entrepreneurship training with leadership development and networking opportunities.

Khadija is one of 4 Belizean entrepreneurs who traveled to the United States for a 5-week fellowship with a host organization in their field of business, gaining valuable development skills to advance their leadership and entrepreneurial aspirations.

“Through exchanges like YLAI, the United States is committed to continuing to engage with emerging entrepreneurs and advance inclusive prosperity for women and people in other marginalized groups. We are helping entrepreneurs from across Belize expand their networks, innovate, create, and solve challenges facing their communities to effectively contribute to economic and social change,” a statement from the embassy said.



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