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In addition to YEP's core values, the YEP Way outlines the principles that define YEP's approach to youth development and community-based programming. These principles inform everything we do.


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YEP participants are paired with an adult youth advocate and mentor who is trained to provide supportive services, assistance with basic needs, and individualized goal setting. Youth advocates also act as liaisons with family members, teachers, and other adults in a young person's life.

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Many of our city's young people struggle to overcome a historical underinvestment in public education, limited access to living wage jobs, and an epidemic of mass incarceration. YEP is committed to addressing these persistent inequities by connecting young people to the opportunities, relationships, and resources they need to thrive and achieve their potential. 

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YEP is founded on the principle of caring for one another. The strength of our work is grounded in our ability to build strong relationships with young people and their families. We prioritize one-on-one relationships and individualized supportive services across all of our programs. Together, we can empower young people to improve their lives and the lives of others.


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



YEP Mentors is a community-based mentoring program for system-involved young people, ages 8 to 21, who are referred to YEP by the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice, the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, or the St. Charles Parish Juvenile Court. YEP youth advocates provide participants with supportive services, individualized goal setting, and case management.

Currently, only youth referred by contract partners are eligible for enrollment.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, YEP has responded by providing home internet access for participants in order to keep them connected to programs and services. For much of the spring and summer, we offered programs remotely, supplemented by one-on-one and socially distanced, small group activities.


This fall, we have focused on addressing educational equity by supporting youth facing the challenges of distance learning. We provided flexible, out-of-school resources for youth, including deep mentoring relationships, tutoring, supportive services, alternate educational pathways, creative career exploration, and structured extracurricular activities.


We anticipate a long and uneven road to recovery once the pandemic finally subsides. But YEP was here for Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath, and we’re here now, working with our community to build a future in which all young people have equal access to opportunity.


YEP Educates is an adult education program that provides high school equivalency test preparation and basic instruction to out-of-school youth ages 16 and older. Our postsecondary transition team helps students enroll in postsecondary education and training programs, and secure financial aid.

Small group and virtual classes available at our Mid-City and Algiers locations.


YEP Enriches is an out-of-school time enrichment program for young people, ages 7 to 18, in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. YEP’s Afterschool Program and Summer Camp offer a range of structured activities, including a basketball team, drumline, and dance team, as well as cooking classes, arts and music instruction, tutoring, and homework help. YEP also runs Louisiana’s only Camp Mariposa, a national addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth who have been impacted by substance abuse in their families.


YEP Works is a work-based learning program for youth, ages 16 to 24, who are either disconnected from school or enrolled in alternative or non-traditional educational programs. Participants earn stipends while gaining transferable work-based skills in customer service and social emotional learning. Our postsecondary and employment transition team helps graduates progress into employment, internships, postsecondary education, and advanced training programs.