top of page



Youth Empowerment Project was founded in 2004 by three juvenile justice advocates to support formerly incarcerated young people as they transitioned back into their communities. It was the first program of its kind in the state of Louisiana. Since then, YEP has expanded to engage young people who live in poverty, are out of school or work, or have experienced trauma.


Today, we provide mentoring and youth advocacy, adult education and high school equivalency preparation, employment readiness and career exploration, and out-of-school time enrichment programming. As a community-based nonprofit, these programs have been developed in response to unmet community needs and are aligned with YEP’s core purpose, which is to empower young people to improve their lives and the lives of others.


Mission & Values
103 (2).jpg


Website Icons-01.png

Our core value icons were designed by YEP youth interns on our Communications team.


We're so grateful to the individuals, companies, and foundations that support our work and share a vision for the kind of society we want for our children. Partners listed below include those who have made a donation of at least $10,000 in the past fiscal year.



The YEP Team

Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

Suzanne Rusovich (President)

Community Volunteer & Philanthropist

Benjamin Allen (Co-Vice President)

PerkUp Financial Health

Lynne Burkart, CPA (Co-Vice President)


Franchesca B. Lorio (Treasurer)

Advantage Capital 

Gretchen Chase (Secretary)

Clayton Ventures

Anderson Baker

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Elizabeth A. Boh

Philanthropy Volunteer

Chef Scot Craig

Katie's Restaurant​ & Francesca

Kate deKay

Eustis Mortgage

Donna Luke Derokey

Stirling Properties

Jay C. Dumas, DMD

Dumas Family Dentistry

Megan Beer Eustis

M C Bank

Elijah Feinstein

Fox Henning

Meredith Hale-Griffin


Amanda Y. Hammack



Judge Calvin Johnson (Retired)

Retired Chief Judge,
Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

Chris LeBato

M C Bank

Shelley Massengale

Community Volunteer & Philanthropist

Laura Politz

Community Volunteer & Philanthropist 

Leroy Prout

HRI Properties

Deanna Rodriguez

Entergy New Orleans

Kelly Walker


Jackie Weill

Weill Consulting Group

John S. Williams

The Law Offices of John S. Williams