Youth Empowerment Project

Clarence & Christian

YEP Educates Alumni

Age(s) 20 & 18

Primary Program: Community-Based Mentoring

Next year, Christian Pollard is looking forward to graduating from high school. If you ask him about future goals a long list of ideas spill excitedly out of his mouth.

“Business is my future major, a minor in photography, a side business in cosmetology, maybe something in clothing. I have many different interests. I plan on working hard and making my money. You have to build an empire,” he laughs.

Before YEP, Christian and his brother Clarence were struggling with anger management after losing a family member to violence and then having to evacuate New Orleans for two Hurricanes: Katrina and Gustav. When the teenagers finally returned to New Orleans from Texas, their mom was concerned about both of her sons’ welfare. Urban Strategies, a supportive services organization working in Central City, connected the family to YEP’s Community-Based Mentoring Program for support.

“YEP helped me learn how to control my anger rather than letting my anger control me. I was really just lashing out at people.” – Christian

Christian and his brother Clarence have spent nearly a decade receiving the support of YEP Senior Youth Advocate Renell Gibbs has assisted the young men with mentoring, tutoring, connection to counseling and other wrap-around services critical to keeping the siblings on track.
“YEP has motivated me to be a better student in and out of school. YEP has also helped me to encourage other people to do better and be better as well,” says Clarence, who recently graduated from high school. The 20-year-old started his first semester at Delgado Community College in August of 2017 and works a retail job as well. He hopes to pursue a degree in Sports Medicine.