Youth Empowerment Project


YEP Graduate

Primary Program: Youth Futures Initiative (YFI)

Secondary Programs: Trafigura Work and Learn Center, NOPLAY

Jaleel Holmes was 16 when he started at YEP after a referral from his juvenile probation officer. He says motivation was never the problem but lack of the support and guidance was until he discovered YEP. YEP helped Jaleel replace his social security card, birth certificate and other critical documents needed to establish himself, all were damaged after Hurricane Katrina. He says because of YEP: “I was able to overcome obstacles, look to better myself and my future, and to look forward to things in life.”

Jaleel was also able to achieve his goals through mentoring and YEP programming in the Work & Learn Center and Summer Camp. Jaleel completed his GED and even bought a car while working at YEP for several years as a Thrift Works Assistant Store Manager and then in YEP’s Afterschool Program and Kids X-Press Summer Camp.

Jaleel says connecting with YEP gave him the additional motivation he needed: “if you are willing to do the work and make the effort, participants can make something out of the program, or do something better. YEP is a very great program helping young people.