Hype Life Magazine understands that President Obama made the announcement at a Town Hall meeting with young Caribbean leaders, held at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus on Thursday (April 9).
The programme, titled the Young Leaders In the Americas Initiative (YLAI), is aimed at providing exchange opportunities between tens of thousands of tertiary students from the United States and those from Latin America and the Caribbean.
“That’s why I’m [here] launching the Young Leaders In the Americas Initiative right here in Kingston,” said Obama.
He highlighted that there are more than 100 million people living in the region between the ages of 15 and 24, with that number at a greater proportion between the ages of 15 and 35.
He also argued that the latest generation has made great strides and should continue to do so through religious, sexual, ethnic and geographical equality as well as via technology.
“[This initiative] will help young people, especially those from an impoverished and high-risk background and give them the chance to grow, develop and make their own connections,” said President Obama.
“This is not a charity effort – this is an investment in your future, which is an investment in our future. That impulse to make the world better is something that you have to hold on to; it is within your reach,” he explained to the audience.
“We don’t want to imprison things in the past; I believe engagement is a more powerful tool than isolation. I believe we can move past from the old debates that have plagued our region – we are not just nations, we are neighbours,” said President Obama, on the renewed relations with Cuba.