Youth Empowerment Project
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYER CAM JORDAN PICKS YEP
FOR HIS ‘MY CAUSE, MY CLEATS’ CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION

Photo courtesy: @camjordan94

New Orleans Saints player Cameron Jordan chooses the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) for the NFL’s ‘My Cause, My Cleats’ Campaign. The defensive end joins dozens of other NFL players who are representing hundreds of charitable organizations that focus on causes from youth wellness to sex trafficking prevention and support for single parents.

@usnikefootball did they thang..@nfl this yr I’m repping @yepnola for My cause My cleats!!! A phenomenal organization I’ve had the pleasure of coming in contact with, interacting with the youths of the program connecting with the New Orleans youth and community further…check the cleats out @saints on Thurs, check the organization out at youthempowermentproject.org.”

-Cameron Jordan via his Twitter account (@camjordan94)

This year, only three players from the New Orleans Saints team are participating in the ‘My Cause, My Cleats’ campaign in support of their favorite charitable organizations. YEP is honored to have been chosen by Jordan and looks forward to seeing Jordan wear the YEP inspired cleats designed by Nike Football when the New Orleans Saints face off against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

Players will have the opportunity to raise money for their cause by auctioning off their cleats at NFL Auction; 100 percent of money raised will be donated to the player’s charities. Fans may bid on game-issued player cleats to help players raise funds for their chosen causes.

YEP DAY OF SERVICE INSIDE THE MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME

On November 21, while the New Orleans Saints geared up for game day on Thanksgiving, a group of approximately 55 young people, staff and volunteers connected to YEP woke up bright & early to help prepare the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the big battle against the Atlanta Falcons! YEP was invited to drape game day towels on EVERY seat inside the Dome. Capacity: 74,295.

It was a fun group activity and volunteers got in a lot of exercise! One Fitbit estimate was 17,000 steps and 35 floors. Thank you to the Saints for inviting the YEP team to place game day towels inside the Superdome!

#GIVINGTUESDAY AND YEP’S HOLIDAY WISH LIST

Thank you to those of you who made a gift to YEP on November 27 in recognition of #GivingTuesday! Without your generosity, YEP’s work which supports underserved young people in the community would not be possible.

If you would still like to give back before the end of the year, YEP Enriches programming – which encompasses our Afterschool Program and Camp Mariposa – has compiled a 2018 Amazon Holiday Wish List.

Please consider sponsoring some of the gifts on this list to help brighten the holidays for many of the young people YEP serves. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

GIVING BACK THROUGH YEP FOR THANKSGIVING

For a second year in a row, the Youth Empowerment Project was fortunate to have Strong City organize a team of volunteers to assemble Thanksgiving boxes filled with food items for families in need connected to YEP’s programs! The event took place on November 2 at YEP’s Youth Center and many of the volunteers who participated are connected to Tulane University’s School of Dermatology.

Special thanks to the group which also consisted of YEP youth and staff who enjoyed the day of service activity as well! A week before Thanksgiving, YEP Youth Advocates and staff helped distribute the Thanksgiving boxes to about 50 YEP participants and their families.

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: EMERIL LAGASSE FOUNDATION
HOSTS GRANTEE TOUR AT YEP

On Friday, November 9, YEP was honored to host guests of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation which has been a long-time supporter of YEP’s Afterschool and Summer Camp Programs. Thank you to Emeril and Alden Lagasse for stopping by the YEP Youth Center! The event was part of the Foundation’s tour of grantees and included appetizers and cocktails curated by Louisiana ProStart students.

YEP Co-Founder and Executive Director/CEO Melissa Sawyer made some welcome remarks to the group of approximately 100 people. YEP youth and staff provided information to guests about programming, the YEP Drumline made a special appearance along with YEP Works participants who offered catering support. Guests also enjoyed special performances by the choir and cheer team from St. Michael Special School.

Thank you to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and its supporters who continue to help make YEP’s free-of-charge programming available to the community.

INSIDE YEP: MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING

Day after day, YEP’s dedicated staff work on the frontline with young people who oftentimes are struggling with mental health challenges. In response to this need, YEP sent three full-time staff members to a Mental Health First Aid training in Texas earlier this fall to become certified trainers. On November 15 and 16, the YEP Trainers used those skills to train a group of 18 YEP staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid, an evidence-based eight-hour public education course which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents.

The two-day session was held inside YEP’s Youth Center and focused on adolescent development and mental health problems, how to recognize signs and symptoms along with how to define a Mental Health First Aid Action Plan.

Special thanks to the Institute of Mental Hygiene for awarding YEP with a grant to make this Mental Health First Aid training possible. Now YEP staff are better equipped in handling mental health and substance use-related crisis and non-crisis situations. YEP will be hosting an additional internal training in mid-December for the remaining frontline staff and some administrative team members. The goal is to be able to offer several training opportunities to community members and/or partner organizations in the New Year.

 

YEP ENRICHES: THE YEP DRUMLINE PERFORMS
AT CURE VIOLENCE PEACE FEST 2018

These images were taken on the Momenta Project New Orleans 2018: Working with Nonprofits workshop in New Orleans, LA. Photo © Vanessa Burciaga (Bly)/Momenta Workshops 2018.

The YEP Enriches Drumline continues to grow more and more with eager youth wanting to join. The extracurricular activity is part of YEP’s free-of-charge Afterschool programming. On Saturday, November 17, the Drumline performed at the Cure Violence Peace Fest at the Gus Homes Park in New Orleans. If you missed them, the Drumline will also be performing at Audubon Zoo Lights which is being held at the Audubon Zoo on December 15 at 8 p.m.

The YEP Drumline started out a few years back with youth using plastic buckets as makeshift instruments purchased from a home improvement retailer. Thanks to generous funding from the ELMA Music Foundation, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and other supporters, the Drumline continues to have fun, improve its musical talents and increase the number of its performances in the community!

If you’re interested in having the Drumline perform at an event, please contact YEP Enriches Music & Arts Coordinator Nakita Shavers at: nshavers@youthempowermentproject.org.

Watch the YEP Drumline practicing inside our Youth Center!

 

YEP in the news…
  • International Youth Foundation features YEP in ‘Cross-Border Partners Look to the Future: Integrating a Whole-Person Model from Brazil in New Orleans’ article. Read it here.
  • New Orleans Saints player Cameron Jordan’s ‘My Cause, My Cleats” campaign mentioned by bleacherreport.com.
  • WDSU (Ch 6) mentioned YEP’s Day of Service at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and broadcast photos of the volunteer event on the station’s 10 pm newscast on November 21.

For additional information please contact YEP’s Director of Communications, Tania Dall at tdall@youthempowermentproject.org or call: 504-522-1316 x 210.