Fellows

In 2018, the University of Notre Dame will welcome 14 YLAI Professional Fellows from 11 different Latin American or Caribbean countries to campus and the greater Michiana region. Over their four-week stay, the YLAI Fellows will use their varied business and social entrepreneurial experience to infuse their host organizations with diverse perspectives and innovation.

Matias Ballon
Matias Ballon

Matias Ballon

Peru

Matias is the co-founder and CEO of Proyecto Alto Perú, a nonprofit organization that works with children and young people from marginalized, urban communities to develop healthy bonds and life skills. He has previous experience working in marketing and volunteering at two prisons in Peru. Matias has a post-graduate certificate in management in social innovation from the Amani Institute, a graduate certificate in development practices from the University of Queensland, and a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Matias will work with DePaul Academy.

Natalia Bertel
Natalia Bertel

Natalia Bertel

Colombia

Natalia is the COO of the Fundación Hilo Sagrado (FHS), which works with women artisans from La Guajira to develop products that reflect their culture. FHS also connects these artisans with international designers and companies (e.g., Anthropologie, Minzuu) to share their cultural heritage and increase their market. Natalia is also the co-founder of La Puerta Design, a publishing start-up that turns clients’ ideas into design and production. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano. Through the YLAI Fellowship, she says she hopes to strengthen FHS’ action plan. Natalia will work with the SPARK Program at St. Mary's College and Bombay International.

Lilian Gorriz
Lilian Gorriz

Lilian Gorriz

Panama

Lilian is the founder of My Global Placement, an online employment platform that provides a place for employers, job seekers, and academic institutions to network and share career opportunities. Previously, Lilian has held several management positions at large, multinational companies in Latin America and the Middle East. She holds an MBA from Hult International Business School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua.Through the YLAI Fellowship, she says she hopes to network with mentors who can help her “put together a feasible and sustainable business model.” Lilian will work with the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County’s “Welcoming Michiana” initiative.

Ana Villota Herdoiza
Ana Villota Herdoiza

Ana Villota Herdoiza

Ecuador

Ana is the founder of Maria La Panaderia, an artisan bakery in Quito that is focused on both improving the average Ecuadorian’s diet and combating gender discrimination in the workplace. The bakery provides nutritious, high-quality bread while maintaining a safe, harassment-free work environment for women. Ana also has worked in sales for Chef en Casa by Henry Richardson and as a manager for the restaurant Lobosapiens. She has a certificate in professional baking and a diploma in hospitality management from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Through the YLAI Fellowship, she says she hopes to expand her human resource management skills. Ana will work with Martin's Super Markets.

Jaianan
Jaianan

Jaianan "Jai" Hirai

Guyana

Jai is the co-founder of the A+ Computer Training Center in Demerara. The center provides free and low-cost training courses for youth who cannot afford the fees of traditional information technology (IT) or computer science schools. The center also currently works with Guyana’s Ministry of Public Telecommunication on a youth-oriented computer literacy program. Jai, a certified network administrator, is also an IT trainer at the University of Guyana and previously worked in the IT department at the Guyana Sugar Corporation. Through the YLAI Fellowship, he says he hopes to further develop his leadership and mentorship skills and knowledge. Jai will work with Goodwill Industries of Michiana.

Alberto Kabbabe
Alberto Kabbabe

Alberto Kabbabe

Venezuela

Alberto is the co-founder and executive director of Alimenta la Solidaridad, an organization operating in 10 neighborhoods in Caracas, which promotes access to local, affordable food and develops sustainable solutions toward that issue. Alberto has long been an advocate for equitable access for food and education and previously co- founded Snapshot. He also has previously taught food science courses at the Universidad Metropolitana (UM). Alberto holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UM and is in the process of completing a master’s degree in public administration at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración. Alberto will work with REAL Services.

Gary Martin
Gary Martin

Gary Martin

Panama

Gary is the co-founder and CEO of Praxis, an initiative that fights misinformation and corruption and aims to politically empower Panamanians, particularly youth, by providing objective reporting on social media and through other digital media, such as podcasts. By launching Praxis he has turned his interest in technology and philosophy towards social entrepreneurship and hacktivism. Gary was named one of the “Top Four Influencers Under 30 in Panamain 2018” by the newspaper Editorial La Prensa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua in Panama City. Gary will work with El Puente Newspaper.

André Osna
André Osna

André Osna

Brazil

André is the COO and creative director of ELEVANTE, a Brazilian innovation company that works with other businesses to improve their relationships and reputation with customers (and the general public) through value creation; marketing and branding; storytelling; copy- writing; and by developing an innovative company culture. André is also the founder of the startup BandTripper, a platform designed to connect musicians looking to schedule gigs and cultural exchanges, and previously served as an assistant producer for the Festival de Teatro de Curitiba. He holds an associate’s degree in filmmaking from Centro Europeu and certificates in advertising and marketing. André will work with DOJO Creative.

Julio César Pineda
Julio César Pineda

Julio César Pineda

Honduras

Julio is the founder and president of Desde Cero, an initiative that aims to provide financial education to Hondurans. Desde Cero helps individuals improve their personal finances through personalized, relationship-oriented services, such as trainings, conferences, and one-to-one advising. In addition to his role at Desde Cero, Julio works in the Accounting and Budget Department of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. He is a two-time graduate of the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana and holds a master’s degree in business administration, as well as a bachelor’s degree in finance. Julio will work with United Way of St. Joseph County.

Gustavo Sosa
Gustavo Sosa

Gustavo Sosa

Paraguay

Gustavo is the co-founder of Yosh, a software company focused on the innovation of technological solutions for companies that generate a social or environmental impact. Yosh also focuses on the creation of software for micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate their access to technology. He is a member of the Association of Entrepreneurs of Paraguay. Before founding Yosh, Gustavo carried out consultancy work, leading innovative projects related to technology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Asunción, where he currently is a professor. Gustavo will work with Covur.

Emmanuel Tilias
Emmanuel Tilias

Emmanuel Tilias

Haiti

Emmanuel is the co-founder and CEO of Mèb Lakay Konpayi (MLK), a Haitian furniture company that designs locally-made furniture. MLK prides itself on its efficient internal production processes, as well as the high attention to detail and durability of its products. Emmanuel teaches economic development at the Université d’Etat d’Haïti (UEH), Campus Roi Henri Chris. He holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in local governance from the Université Publique du Nord au Cap-Haïtien and another in law from the UEH. Through the YLAI Fellowship, he says he hopes to discover new, innovative, organizational principles that can be applied to MLK. Emmanuel will work with Precision Wood Products.

Catalina Valencia
Catalina Valencia

Catalina Valencia

Colombia

Catalina is the co-founder and general director of the 24-0 Foundation. 24-0 develops arts and culture-based projects that inspire and empower young Colombians to develop their creativity and become advocates for nonviolence and stewardship of life in their communities. She previously worked as a principal assessor for IDARTES, the primary online platform used to highlight cultural activities and initiatives in Bogotá. Catalina holds a master’s degree in cultural management from the University of Buenos Aires, as well as a bachelor’s degree in choreographic composition from the Universidad Nacional de las Artes in Buenos Aires. Catalina will work with the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture.

Ana Rebeca Vega
Ana Rebeca Vega

Ana Rebeca Vega

Peru

Rebeca is the CEO of Wander, a platform that promotes citizen security in cities in developing countries. Wander’s software uses data analytics, statistics, and crime maps in real-time to prevent and combat crime, as well as increase citizen security. Rebeca holds a diploma in international business negotiations from the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo and a bachelor’s degree in business management from the National University of Piura. Through the YLAI Fellowship, she says she hopes to “understand and analyze the citizen security conditions in different communities in the U.S., and other countries, and understand how different communities address crime.” Rebeca will work with the South Bend Police Department’s Strategic Focus Unit.

Kerri-Anne C. Walker
Kerri-Anne C. Walker

Kerri-Anne C. Walker

Jamaica

Kerri-Anne is the founder of Kei Dubb, a Jamaican business and lifestyle coaching company that aims to empower and assist independent artists and creators. Kei Dubb provides affordable business consulting to individuals who are less comfortable in running the business side of their venture. Previously, Kerri-Anne has worked as an assistant for the Jamaica Football Federation, as an arts and culture business coach, and as an animation documentation specialist.She holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of the West Indies at Mona, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in arts and culture management from the Rome Business School. Kerri-Anne will work with the South Bend Heritage Foundation.