• NEWS
  • October 7, 2017 - November 5, 2017

    Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI)

    || Post- Program Impact: The Butterfly Effect ||

    Global Ties Detroit was pleased to continue its work with the U.S. State Department Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) program by welcoming 12 Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean to Detroit for the last six weeks.  This initiative places 250 business and social entrepreneurs as Fellows at relevant organizations in 24 cities across the U.S.  The results can change the world.

    The Butterfly Effect is the concept that even the smallest movement of the wings of a butterfly send ripples of change into our world.  The Butterfly Effect happened almost daily over the last six weeks as YLAI Fellows lived and worked in Detroit.  Small but impactful changes stay with them and, in turn, they bring change back to their home countries.  

    I witnessed the Butterfly Effect ripple across the cohort over the last six weeks like when a Detroit entrepreneurial coach helped a Grenadian social entrepreneur visualize exactly just how far her scholarship foundation could reach or when an admired chocolatier urged a Colombian food producer to notice how beautiful her products are and to take the time to appreciate them.  These are just two of the results of the “butterfly effect” in our own backyard this fall when 12 tremendous Detroit organizations played host to our 2017 YLAI Fellows.

    Words cannot express our gratitude to Rebuild Group, Cass Community Services Tiny Homes Project, Recovery Park, Ponyride, Faris Alami/ISM, Inc., Metro Museum of Design Detroit (MM-O-DD), Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC), Gleaner's Community Food Bank, Bon Bon Bon, WSU Office of Enrollment Management, MarvelApps, and Junior Achievement of Southeast Michigan. We could not deliver such a phenomenal program without support from you.

    The Detroit cohort not only participated in day-to-day operations at their amazing Detroit host organizations or collaborated on joint projects, but they also developed their business or social venture plans by engaging in skills-building workshops.  They will use the knowledge gained to effectively contribute to social and economic development in their home communities.

    The Butterfly Effect will continue its ripple effect as 45 Fellowship Hosts from across the United States will be awarded a reverse exchange to travel to the region of their Fellow in spring 2018 to learn from the Fellows’ organizations, share best practices, and participate in a project which benefits the local community. 

    We also kept them busy with some fun times at The Henry Ford, Great Lakes Crossing and even a trip to Blake’s Big Red Orchard in Armada for a little apple-picking and fresh air; it doesn’t matter how old you are or from what region of the world, a hayride into a pumpkin patch is always a delight.  Many friends of Global Ties Detroit “adopted” the YLAI Fellows during their stay and took them dancing, threw them a midwestern potluck, celebrated Shabbat with them and showed them the true “Spirit of Detroit.”

    It doesn’t take a lot to change the world.  Small movements like breaking bread around a table, learning each other’s stories, working on projects together or simply sharing a tourist location are ripples from your own wings.  Join Global Ties Detroit and help us further peace and prosperity in the world.


    Learn more about what each opportunity may involve here.