Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families Celebrates Third Year of Summer Success Program Connecting At-Risk Youth with Work Readiness Opportunities



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The Mayor's Office of Youth and Families (OYF), in partnership with JOB1, today announced the recent completion of its third year of the Summer Success program, which provides workforce readiness opportunities for New Orleans youth. The program intentionally connects youth who have either interacted with the justice system or who have been chronically absent from school with a five-week, paid work-readiness experience at local businesses and organizations.

This summer’s cohort included 97 youth, ages 14-17, from all five City Council districts.

Program referrals are provided by the New Orleans Public Schools (NOLA-PS) Office of Student Support, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Hotel Hope, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Louisiana Center for Children's Rights, Boys Town Louisiana, Crescent City Schools, Edna Karr High School, Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA), Freddie Marshall Education Foundation, Heroes of New Orleans, MicAmped and Community Avengers.

“We created the Summer Success program in 2019 to respond to a gap in internship opportunities for our most vulnerable youth during the critical summer months. Since its inception, this program has engaged more than 300 youth,” said Emily Wolff, Director, Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families. "We cannot do this work alone, which is why we partner with several incredible community-based organizations to offer evidence-based work readiness programs. This summer, youth honed their skills through culinary competitions, entrepreneurship, music composition classes and construction projects. We believe young people are the solution, not the problem, and we could not be prouder of the participants for their work this summer.”

The Office of Youth and Families contracted with 10 organizations to offer work readiness programming as well as wraparound support. Youth received $15/hour for 20 hours per week. In addition, all youth had access to case management support, transportation assistance and transitional planning support.

This year, Summer Success achieved a 93 percent attendance rate and connected families to critical wraparound services. Specifically, the case management team provided eight mental health referrals (Children’s Bureau), four referrals to NOLA-PS for help with One App assistance and two referrals for Healthy Start for parenting resources. Furthermore, out of all youth who previously interacted with the justice system, only two reoffended during the program period.

 Internship placement partners include:

  • Studio 4212 – Beauty Salon and Cosmetology School in New Orleans East
  • Heroes of New Orleans – Job training program in Algiers
  • Level-up Campaign – Job training program in the Seventh Ward
  • MicAmped – Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship program in Central City
  • Taking Back Our Youth (TBOY) – Work readiness program in New Orleans East
  • The Net Charter High School – Internship program within an alternative high school in Central City and Gentilly
  • Community Avengers – Career exploration and job readiness in the Seventh Ward
  • Café Reconcile – Restaurant and hospitality training in Central City
  • New Orleans Video Access (NOVAC) – Video production training in Mid-City
  • The Freddie Marshall Education Foundation – Music business development in Algiers

“MIC-AMPED has served as a partner since the inaugural launch of Summer Success.  We cultivate a family environment for youth to feel safe, a sense of hope, and a toolbox to succeed in life. I strongly believe youth should be given intentional opportunities to become contributors to society through innovative pathways of engagement. Youth of our city have the desire and passion to be contributors to their respective and global communities as movement builders and game-changers of their communities. We will continue to do our part as we amplify young people's voices,” said Le’Kedra Robertson, Director, Milne Inspiration Center ‘MicAmped’.

Summer Success is operated in conjunction with the OYF's Pathways Program, which is a year-round workforce readiness program that serves system-involved youth and is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Several Summer Success participants will transition to Pathways to continue their engagement throughout the school year.


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