What We Do
Welcome them home.
We welcome system-involved teens and young adults home from incarceration, as full members of the New Orleans community. We leverage the power of the community to elevate youth by helping them develop a passion, find a reason to hope and aspire, and forge a path forward. We surround each young person (“Fellow”) with a group (“tribe”) of dedicated and committed adult volunteers, connect them to paid internship and work opportunities, and offer academic guidance to help them succeed. The Welcoming Project also advocates for comprehensive changes to long-standing policies that hinder the efforts of system-involved teens and young adults to contribute positively to New Orleans upon their release from confinement.
The Welcoming Project is based on the premise that students who have a passion project are more likely to be successful returning home from secure facilities. As adults, our priority is to develop a program around Fellows’ interests, engage relentlessly with each Fellow, and then support positive engagement with community assets. Each Fellow in the Welcoming Project will be surrounded by a small team of adults, will be a member of a larger cooperative tribe of students and adults, will have access to a paid internship in a field of interest, and will attend school or job training program with a partner organization that is committed to their success.
To have the greatest impact in advancing the lives of system-involved teens and young adults in New Orleans, the Welcoming Project will: (a) support students steadily for five years or more, (b) provide significant nurturing and training to the team of adults -- our Tribe Coordinators, Champions, and Allies - who are supporting our students and (c) advocate for needed structural improvements to critical juvenile and criminal justice system and related social service sectors in New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.