Guyanese selected for US Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program

Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2018, 17:41 by Denis Chabrol

Evie Gurcharan

The U.S. Embassy on Friday proudly announced the 2018 cohort from Guyana for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program.  The program takes place in September and October and will bring 250 young leaders from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States.

This year the embassy said “we are pleased to announce that out of over 2,500 applications from the region, three young leaders from Guyana have been accepted”.

They are:

Jaianan Hirai, co-founder of the A+ Computer Training Center, located in West Coast Demerara, provides free and low-cost training courses for young people who cannot afford the fees of traditional IT schools. Jai is also an IT Trainer at the University of Guyana and a Certified Network Administrator.

Evie Kanhai-Gurchuran, co-founder and CEO of Java Coffee Bar, an artisanal

Jainan Hirai

coffee shop in Georgetown. Java Coffee Bar reduces unemployment and supports Guyanese farmers by using locally sourced ingredients and by making almost all of its products from scratch. Evie is also the CEO of EMTEC, a marketing and graphic design firm, and Sites Builders, a product development company.


Nigel Anthony Peters, founder of Arcadia Agri, a cultivator of organic fruits and vegetables in Guyana. By providing locally grown produce and hiring a young workforce, Arcadia Agri aims to reduce both food imports and youth unemployment in the country.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the YLAI Professional Fellows Program empowers entrepreneurs to

Nigel Peters

strengthen their capacity to advance their entrepreneurial ventures and effectively contribute to economic and social development in their communities. Business and social entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships in small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in 20 cities across the U.S.


The program will begin in Detroit, Michigan. The young entrepreneurs will then engage in four-week fellowships in cities throughout the United States and conclude with a Closing Summit in Washington, D.C.