Dear YEP Supporters,
December is nearing an end and January is already knocking at our door! We are happy to report that it has been another eventful and productive month at YEP. YEP Enriches participants enjoyed a snowy Camp Mariposa, YEP Educates students successfully passed their high school equivalency exams, and YEP Works young people got a behind-the-scenes tour of a Comedy Central production that was filmed in New Orleans. A lucky group of YEP youth were also treated to a holiday shopping spree hosted by a New Orleans Pelicans player wanting to give back. All memorable moments that would not be possible without supporters like you!
New Orleans Pelicans player DeMarcus Cousins hosts holiday shopping spree benefiting YEP youth
On December 7, 2017, a total of 58 young people connected to the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) took part in a holiday shopping spree at the Target store on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie, LA. The special event was hosted by New Orleans Pelicans player DeMarcus Cousins. Each child received a $200 gift card to use in the store along with 2 tickets to a Pelicans game. YEP was one of three nonprofit organizations selected for the event. Special thanks to Hotard Coaches, Inc. which provided a charter bus to and from the store for YEP youth and staff chaperones.
YEP’s 2017 Holiday Wish List!
Looking to make the holidays brighter for underserved youth in New Orleans? Please consider helping YEP fulfill our 2017 Holiday Wish List. It’s never too late to help support YEP youth. [Note: Deadline 12/19 to order & ship gifts].
Comedy Central invites YEP Works participants for behind-the-scenes tour of entertainment industry
What is it like to produce a Comedy Central series? YEP participants and staff now have a better idea. On December 9, a group of approximately 15 young people and staff connected to YEP received a private tour of the Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents series that was taped inside the Civic Theater. Comedy Central executives and production team members educated YEP youth participants and staff about the entertainment industry. Thank you to Comedy Central for the opportunity!
YEP Educates celebrates another class of graduates with a jazz themed brunch & special musical performance by members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band!
When students work hard to earn their high school equivalency diploma, YEP takes notice! For the first time in the organization’s history, YEP held a winter graduation celebration to recognize a total of 23 students who recently earned their HiSET (formerly GED). On December 15, the jazz themed brunch and awards ceremony was held inside YEP’s Youth Center followed by a trip to Preservation Hall. The field trip to the French Quarter resulted in 30 YEP graduates and staff enjoying a private performance by members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Congratulations again to our most recent YEP Educates graduates!
YEP in the news…
- New Orleans Pelicans player DeMarcus Cousins holiday shopping spree beenfiting YEP youth was featured by several local media outlets: New Orleans Advocate > Times-Picayune > The Pelicans Team > WDSU
- YEP’s Executive Director & Cofounder Melissa Sawyer was profiled in The Chronicle of Philanthory > 15 More People Changing the Nonprofit World.
YEP Enriches: Camp Mariposa’s Winter Wonderland
Here are some highlights from a snowy weekend in Loranger, LA where YEP’s Camp Mariposa meets six times per year. The free, weekend overnight camp program is part of YEP’s enrichment services and supports children ages 9-12 who are impacted by substance abuse in their families. Many of the youth participants who attended this month’s camp (a total of 32) had never seen snow before!