Five T&T Entrepreneurs Selected for 2018 YLAI

The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce the 2018 cohort from Trinidad and Tobago for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program.  This program will take place September to October 2018 and will bring 250 young leaders from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States.  This year we are pleased to announce that five young leaders from Trinidad and Tobago have been accepted out of nearly 2,500 applications.

The five-week YLAI Professional Fellows Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, will place business and social entrepreneurs in small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in 20 U.S. cities.  The participants, hosted by U.S. organizations, will further develop their business or social venture plans, learn from their U.S. counterparts, and share best practices.

The 2018 T&T fellows are Vijay Dialsingh, Afiya Dick, Rondell Hamilton, Jayme Hoyte and Shemeon Williams.

The YLAI Professional Fellows Program will begin on September 20 in Detroit, Michigan.  Participants will then engage in four-week fellowships in cities throughout the U.S.  The program will conclude with a Closing Summit in Washington, DC.

The website includes information about the YLAI Professional Fellows Program and the YLAI Network.

Bios of 2018 T&T participants: 

Vijay Dialsingh is the Founder of Growsmartt, an online forum that provides solutions to agricultural problems. Growsmartt centralizes the knowledge banks of dispersed agricultural stakeholders in one digital space and provides free access. The platform tackles issues such as high food import dependency and food shortages. Vijay works as a farmer and has previous experience in financial investments, sales, and marketing. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies and Economics from the University of the West Indies.


Afiya Kelenne Dick is the Founder and Director of Operations for Evergreen Ridge Winery, a company that produces wines made from locally-grown tropical fruits in Trinidad and Tobago. Afiya also works for a local energy company as the Coordinator of Environment and Safety. She has a Master’s degree in Environment Science and Management from the University of Trinidad and Tobago; a Bachelor’s degree in Water Resources Management from the College of Science, Technology, and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago; and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.


Rondell Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Director of Rennie’s Orphanage and Animal Rescue, an animal rehabilitation center. Dedicated to species conservation, Rennie’s Orphanage cares for injured and orphaned wildlife and educates the public about the importance of biodiversity in Trinidad and Tobago. Rondell is a volunteer at the Wildlife Orphanage and Rehabilitation Centre and at Trinibats, a non-profit bat conservation team. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Zoology from Andrews University.


Jayme Hoyte is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SmartTerm Limited, an education management platform that provides efficient communication between schools, families, and the government. Jayme has volunteered with the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO). She has a Master’s degree in Global Studies with a specialization in Economics and Foreign Aid and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations.


Shemeon Williams is the Co-Founder and Director of ESPY Technical Services Limited, a company dedicated to ensuring efficient health care service in the Caribbean region by improving the reliability and availability of medical equipment. Shem is a registered electrical engineer and project management professional. He volunteers with the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute, and the Is There Not A Cause (ITNAC) Foundation. He has a Law degree from the University of London.