Youth Empowerment Project

Dear YEP Supporters:

This YEP Communications update starts off with highlights from our big annual fundraising event YEP Fest featuring Pedal for YEP!

On Sunday, March 11, 2018 pedicab racing teams, community members, and volunteers gathered outside our main office on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard for YEP Fest featuring Pedal for YEP! Despite some rain, the fundraiser was a success and included another year of Pedal for YEP corporate-sponsored pedicab races along with live music, entertainment, food trucks, a Kids Zone and adult beverages! Big Freedia, Sweet Crude, Water Seed, the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi, and Camel Toe Lady Steppers were part of the special appearances and live performances! Congratulations again to the Merrill Lynch team for being the overall YEP Fest fundraising winner!

YEP Fest featuring Pedal for YEP Pedicab Team Sponsors: 


WWL-TV, The Gambit Weekly (Race Winner), 

New Orleans Advocate & WWNO


Barriere Construction, Landis Construction Co. (Race Winner), 

Felicity Property Co., Woodward Design+Build & Frischhertz Electric


IBERIABANK, Jefferson Financial, 

Fidelity &  Merrill Lynch (Race Winner)


Entergy, Standard Mortgage (Race Winner), 

Strong City & Link Stryjewski Foundation

Special thanks to the following YEP FEST Sponsors: 


The Zemurray Foundation


LCMC Health

Jones Walker

Henry Lambert

Rusovich Family Foundation

Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office

Bryan Subaru

Corporate Realty

R Bar

Weill Consulting Group



Merritt & Elly Lane

Hancock and Whitney Banks

Mahony’s Po-Boys & Seafood

James A Mounger

Bike Taxi Unlimited

Cumulus Radio

Urban South

Southern Eagle 

Katie’s Restaurant

Special thanks to the dozens of volunteers who helped make YEP Fest a reality! YEP could not have done it without each of you!

YEP Winner of National Allstate Renewal Award 

At a symposium held in New Orleans at the Ace Hotel on March 27, 2018, YEP was honored with a national award and $20,000 grant for its work in creating solutions to pressing community challenges. YEP was one of five nonprofits to receive the third annual Renewal Awards, a project of The Atlantic and Allstate which honors groups across the country for their innovative, grassroots approach to driving change in their communities and bringing progress to the country. YEP was chosen from a competitive pool of nearly 3,000 nominees.

YEP is honored to receive national recognition from The Atlantic and Allstate for our work with young people in New Orleans and we are proud to stand alongside of the other awardees that are doing innovative and impactful work in respective communities across the United States,” said YEP Executive Director/Cofounder Melissa Sawyer who accepted the award on behalf of YEP.  

YEP ENRICHES: Camp Mariposa in March

It was a beautiful 80-degree spring weekend for 28 YEP participants and 15 staff members who enjoyed another Camp Mariposa from March 23-25. The free-of-charge, weekend overnight camp supports children between the ages of 9 and 12 who are impacted by substance abuse in their families. During this most recent camp, youth were asked to write down their feelings about addiction on dissolvable paper which was later dropped into water as a path towards personal healing.

Calling All Future YEP Volunteers! 

Our next Volunteer Orientation is (Tomorrow) March 28, 2018 from 6:00 -7:00 pm – YEP’s Main Administrative Building – 1600 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113

 YEP in the news…

  • YEP’s Executive Director & Cofounder Melissa Sawyer profiled by the Renewal Project here.

For additional information please contact Tania Dall, YEP’s Director of Communications – – Direct: 504-522-1316 x 210