Stephanie Hotard from the Youth Empowerment Project was the guest speaker at the May 16, 2017, Rotary Club of LaPlace meeting. She described the programs available for their target group of at-risk young people between the ages of 7 and 24 years of age. In 2016 about 1200 participants were served by programs ranging from High School Equivalencies, re-entry support for juvenile offenders, job skill training and mentoring.
The Youth Empowerment Project was founded in 2004 to provide re-entry support to youth who had been involved with the juvenile justice system to build healthy lives, steer clear of the justice system, and remain safe.  The organization has expanded its programing to provide service to youth who have not been incarcerated but are still at risk because of their life situations.  Current programing is focused in four service areas; 1) Mentoring, 2) High School Equivalency Education, 3) Employment readiness, 4) Out-of-School Time Programming.  The program operates out of six facilities in Orleans Parish and one in St Charles Parish.