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Find out about all of Youth Rebuilding New Orleans' exciting new projects, initiatives, and news.

Letter from the Executive Director

Every day presents new challenges and new opportunities, but none have been greater than keeping up with the growth of our newest homebuilding initiative. Coupled with the closing of countless other non-profits that were once committed to rebuilding, we as an organization are getting more and more requests to host volunteers and help homeowners rebuild. While the requests are encouraging for YRNO the struggle to keep up with these demands and grow the organization's capacity to help the city has put increased stress on our very limited resources.

Despite these limited resources we have hosted a record 200+ volunteers who completed over 1800+ hours in the month of March! We also recently opened two new chapters in local public schools through which we provide students with hands-on skills training through internships, as well as leadership and homeownership training. Through all of this work we are able to continue our ultimate mission of educating and empowering young people, reducing blight and stabilizing communities, and providing affordable homes for teachers.

If you would like to help us continue our work or know someone that would, please consider making a tax-deductible
donation to Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, purchasing a tool from our wish list, or volunteering your time during one of our work sessions. Additionally, please share our story with others who may be able to assist us in our mission.  For more information about Youth Rebuilding New Orleans and our Executive Director visit www.yrno.com


Sincerely,
William Stoudt
Executive Director
stoudt@yrno.com
(504)264-3344

Building Blocks

Here at Youth Rebuilding New Orleans we've been keeping busy in the housing market.  Recently we finished building a beautiful two-story, 3-bedroom house on South Alexander Street in Mid-City.  Soon after, the home was sold to Noelle Reznik, who we spotlighted in this newsletter.

In the same neighborhood, we also finished building a double on South Hennessey Street, which we used as our office until recently when it was sold to a first-time homebuyer.

Currently underway are our houses on Olympia Street, Hope Street, and South Salcedo Street where we're focusing on bringing those homes back to their former glory.  If you or someone you know are interested in living in one of these properties, please Contact Us.

Youth in Schools

A key element of YRNO's success has always been our partnerships with local high schools. In the past few months we have refocused our efforts to strengthing the current chapers and create new opportunities at additional schools. Each chapter is different and has its own goals, objectives, and levels of participation.We provide these chapters with everything from logistical support and planning to detailed service learning curriculum. Some schools are just looking for a fun way to get involved and do service in the community; others want students to take an active role in the planning and execution of service events.

In January we began a Youth Rebuilding New Orleans Club at the New Orleans Charter Math and Science Academy, a leading open-enrollment charter school in eastern New Orleans.  This club teachers students professional skills such as financial literacy, public speaking, and leadership.  Additionally, the club provides students with the opportunity to complete required service hours by learning construction-related skills. Around the same time we began a partnership with Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, where we have been able to provide more personalized one-on-one internship opportunities with several of its students.

Teacher Feature

Each newsletter we will highlight one of the fantastic teachers that purchased a home from YRNO and share a little about their lives. Recently we got a chance to catch up with Noelle Reznik as we were helping her to move furniture into her new home, freshly built by Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.  Noelle's answers to the questions below offer insight into the kind of New Orleanians we are helping. 

Are you new to the city? Did you think about leaving the city after the storm?
Originally from New Orleans, Noelle moved to the state’s capital of Baton Rouge to study mathematics at Louisiana State University (LSU) – as a fallback from teaching, she says.  After the storm, she spent a long year out at Lake Charles but eventually moved back home to New Orleans. It was too far from her family, “and from the Saints games, of course,” she says with a laugh.
As a matter of fact, she’s always wanted to move back home into the city to teach, and the storm only strengthened her resolve.  “All my family was rebuilding,” she says, so it only seemed natural to come back. 

When did you first think about becoming a teacher?
“I guess I wanted to be a teacher from the beginning,” she says simply, and that’s all there is to it.
New Orleans in particular is an exciting place to be for an educator and, in many ways, is the testing ground for new instructional methods.  Hurricane Katrina opened up a lot of new opportunities for innovation in teaching during the rebuilding process, and Noelle was excited to be a part of it.  She currently works at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Chalmette, “as a kind of instructional coach.” She works with sixth through eighth graders, but also with teachers in a more facilitative role involving trainings.  She loves working in middle school, “even though it’s the hardest, if I say so myself.”  Noelle appreciates the small, familial community that exists in the school district of St. Bernard Parish.

What word best describes how you feel about your new home?
“Something stronger than thrilled, whatever that might be.”

Donate Today!

Your commitment can help us empower students, reduce blight, and help quality teachers afford quality housing. No donation is too small!

Volunteer With Us!

It's volunteers like you that make this organization successful! If you are interested in getting more involved email yrno@yrno.com for more information.

Are you a Teacher?

YRNO wants to help you engage and empower local young people. We know that teachers make lasting impressions on their students and we want to reward those of you making a real impact! We can make available homes at drastically reduced prices as long as you continue to work as an educator. For more information click on this link.
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