YEP empowers young people to improve their lives and the lives of others.

aka YEP   |   New Orleans, LA   |


YEP engages underserved young people through community-based education, mentoring and employment readiness programs to help them develop skills and strengthen ties to family and community.

Notes from the nonprofit

YEP has an ongoing commitment to evaluation and data collection, which allows us to monitor programmatic successes and make improvements to service delivery. The primary data collection and tracking tool that YEP uses is the Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database, which is a web-based case management platform. By utilizing the data collection and reporting functions of ETO, YEP can produce reports that outline descriptive characteristics of the population served, in addition to participation and outcome data for each program.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Melissa Sawyer

Main address

1600 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

New Orleans, LA 70113 USA

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NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At YEP, we believe that every young person in New Orleans deserves equal access to the opportunities and resources necessary to reach their full potential. We envision a community where every young person feels safe, valued and supported. Unfortunately, this is not the current reality. High rates of economic inequality and a lack of family-sustaining jobs continue to widen the opportunity gap in our community. Too many New Orleans children are chronically exposed to poverty, trauma and violence and lack access to the quality educational opportunities that would help them break this cycle.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

YEP Educates

YEP Educates is an adult education program that provides an alternative and flexible pathway for students ages 16 and up to build literacy skills, earn their HiSET and transition into postsecondary education and training. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to increase the life opportunities and earning potential for adult learners of all ages who became disconnected from the traditional education system.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

YEP Mentors is a community-based mentoring program for system-involved young people, ages 8 to 21. Youth participants are referred to YEP by the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice, the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, or the St. Charles Parish Court. Mentoring services are delivered by YEP Youth Advocates, who are trained and salaried staff who provide intensive, culturally competent and non-judgmental case management and mentoring services to young people as well as supplemental support to their families.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

YEP Enriches is an out-of-school time enrichment program for young people, ages 7 to 18, located in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. Our year-round, free programming provides approximately 175 youth with academic support, physical activity, music and arts instruction, social-emotional support, and fun and educational activities such as chess club, media club, and robotics. 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.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

YEP Works is a work-based learning program that engages young people between the ages of 16 and 24. Participants earn hourly stipends while developing social emotional competencies and gaining transferable work-based skills. YEP Works also operates a full-service bike shop and thrift store, which serve as ideal training locations for young people to practice the transferable skills they learn in the YEP Works program. Participants train in both shops alongside peers and adult staff as they learn the fundamentals of customer service, communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Young adults
Unemployed people

Where we work


Nonprofit CEO of the Year 2022

Biz New Orleans Magazine

Nonprofit of the Year 2021

New Orleans City Business Magazine

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Community-based services like those provided by YEP are a powerful tool to address many of the challenges our city faces, including poverty, crime and disconnection from school and employment. Through high quality programs and qualified, caring staff, YEP creates a space where young people can feel safe, valued and supported.

In 2021 and beyond, YEP will continue to operate our four service areas programs which enable young people to engage with programming year-round. All of YEP's programs are free to participants in order to ensure that they are accessible to the most vulnerable and underserved youth in the city.

YEP's staff has unparalleled personal, educational and professional experience working with-risk, out-of-school and court-involved youth, and YEP has a proven track record of successfully raising the funds required to operate effective and robust programs. YEP has a strong network of community partners which enables us to refer young people to services they may need if we don't provide them in-house. YEP works year-round to identify and secure new funding partnerships, while prioritizing maintaining relationships with existing funders.

YEP defines success based upon program-specific metrics that we track annually. These goals include total program participation, satisfaction surveys completed by program participants and their parents or guardians, and the results of pre and post-tests that indicate knowledge and skill growth in specific topics. Ultimately, our program is successful when we have full participation, our participants feel like the program has been beneficial for them, and we can identify specific improvements that participants have made as a result of their participation.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 09/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Chris LeBato

Scot Craig

Ben Allen

Elijah Feinstein

Leroy Prout

Lynne Burkart

Laura Politz

Jackie Weill

Suzanne Rusovich

Chris LeBato

Franchesca Lorio

Elizabeth Boh

Jay Dumas

Judge Calvin Johnson

Elicia Broussard Sheridan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/7/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/07/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.