Youth Empowerment Project


Age: 20
Primary Program: Trafigura Work and Learn Center – Bike Works & Design Works

A year ago when Roman Smith first came to YEP, he was quiet and reserved. Fast forward to today and the young man is willing to share his personal journey with you, which in itself is a major milestone.

“There aren’t that many jobs that are hiring, there are always people getting laid off. It’s kind of sad,” said Roman, “Men my age, if they don’t have a job and feel like they have nothing to resort to they can sometimes make bad choices,” said Roman.

Roman discovered YEP through a friend in June of 2016 and he decided to apply to the Trafigura Work and Learn Center’s Bike Works program. After completing the program, the high school graduate transitioned to Design Works wanting to take on a new challenge. Roman graduated from YEP Works with an arsenal of new skills including customer service and creative digital media experience.

“YEP is like a second home to me. Somewhere where I can get stuff done, study, kind of like a safe haven for me.” – Roman

Roman currently works at a restaurant in the French Quarter. He  has his sights set on joining the U.S. Army prompted by a mentor who served in the Navy.