Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) is a nine month cohort for high school students that focuses on learning leadership skills, public speaking, and community engagement. Through the cohort, scholars learn to identify issues affecting their communities, along with develop and implement plans for positive youth-led change. The program culminates in a Youth Empowerment Summit hosted and planned by the YEP scholars.
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.