Youth Empowerment Project

Darren’s Story

YEP Staff Member & Alumni

Primary Program: NOPLAY

Darren Alridge has been an incredible asset to the YEP community since he joined our team in 2009. He joined us at age 18 to work toward earning his GED, upon referral from his judge. Then, in 2011, he joined YEP staff as a para-professional who helps New Orleans youth prepare for the HiSET (formerly GED) exam, as he has “seen the need of some of the youth I work with,” and has chosen to work with YEP because it “makes me happy to give back to my community.”

Darren believes being a YEP Alum-turned-Staff member is important for current YEP participants because some youth do not have close family, or family invested in their lives. YEP is able to help these young people on a day-to-day basis and provide access to resources. His words of reflection: “Stay focused and keep your head up and good will come to you.” His favorite experience with YEP has been flying to Washington, D.C. to visit the White House – it is a moment he will never forget.