Our Team

Our Staff

William Stoudt - Executive Director

William Stoudt, our Executive Director, began working with the organization in the days after Hurricane Katrina. His commitment over the years increased from a regular volunteer to the Director of the Board. Upon graduating from Tulane University with a dual major in Business Management and Political Science, he was offered a full-time position to help grow and develop YRNO into one of the premier volunteer organizations in the area.  He oversees YRNO’s daily operations–including property acquisitions, construction, and accounting–as well as develops the organization’s service learning curriculum, school outreach and youth development. William’s knowledge of the real estate market and construction business makes him an invaluable resource for Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.



William Stoudt, Executive Director of Youth Rebuilding New Orleans

William Stoudt, Executive Director


Sam Stephens – Program Manager

Sam, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, joined the YRNO Executive Board in 2010 while an undergrad at Tulane. As a Community Service Scholar at Tulane, Sam has been involved with YRNO’s build crew throughout his college career. After finishing his undergraduate studies, Sam worked as a Site Supervisor for the St. Bernard Project, another major rebuilding non-profit in New Orleans. After completing his M.S. in Crisis and Disaster Management from Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Academy in 2014, Sam joined YRNO’s full-time staff as Program Manager.


Sam Stephens


Jack Styczynski -Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA

Jack Styczynski is now in his second VISTA term at YRNO, serving as a volunteer coordinator, grant writer and media strategist, although he’s fine if you skip all that and just call him the receptionist. The native New Yorker was inspired to join AmeriCorps after making several post-Katrina relief and recovery trips to New Orleans, volunteering alongside many members at various rebuilding organizations. Known to his Tulane VISTA peers as “Whodat Jack,” he’s a huge fan of the Saints, especially fellow Hofstra grad Marques Colston. In his spare time, he loves hanging out with his AmeriCorps friends and going to dance clubs with them. To read his field reports, click here.


Jack Styczynski


Sarah Watiker - Youth Engagement Coordinator

Sarah Watiker is originally from New York but spent the last four years at Oberlin College where she earned a degree in Politics and Afrikana Studies. As a Louisiana Delta Service Corps member for the 2013-2014 year, Sarah will be serving as a Youth Engagement Coordinator for YRNO, spending most of her time at Sci Academy, one of YRNO’s high school partners. At Sci, Sarah assists in the planning and execution of co-curricular, sports and after-school programming. In her free time, Sarah loves exploring New Orleans for cheap eats and good thrifting!


Sarah Watiker


Allison Zeal - Youth Engagement Coordinator

Allison Zeal was born in Illinois and moved to Wisconsin when she was six. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cites with a psychology degree in 2007, then spent several years in Minneapolis working as a baker and trying to figure out what to do with her life. She’s known for a long time that she wanted to help people in some capacity, and has now found the courage to act. Emotionally inspired by New Orleans, she moved here last year to get involved with teaching and service work. She works with YRNO as a Louisiana Delta Service Corps member at Sci Academy, helping students with the college admission process and developing a summer internship program.


Allison Zeal


Abby Hall - Youth Engagement Coordinator

Abby Hall is a Memphis native with a Communications degree from the University of Tennessee. (“Go Vols!”) She loves to travel and after graduating in 2012, she spent time in Alaska, Hawaii and Thailand, where she had “some really awesome adventures” before exhausting her funds and moving to New Orleans to work in a restaurant. She also has experience rebuilding homes in Memphis and working with the Gulf Restoration Network, and she’s now excited to be part of a community-oriented rebuilding organization in New Orleans. A self-described “talker” and “Daddy’s girl,” Abby was born on her father’s birthday.

Abby Hall


Willie Leonard - Construction Manager

In his second stint as YRNO’s Construction Manager, Willie enjoys teaching volunteers about different methods of construction and learning about their various cultures. He has degrees in forestry from Louisiana Tech and theology from Notre Dame Seminary, and has taught religion for nearly 20 years in New Orleans. Willie and his wife Aly have two wonderful children, Kateri and Luke. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and storytelling.


Willie Leonard


Prince Holmes – Asst. Construction Manager

Prince is a proud alum of Edna Karr High School. He is currently attending Delgado Community College, studying Criminal Justice. Prince joined YRNO through the JOB1 summer program in 2011. He enjoys meeting and working with volunteers, and his charismatic personality makes him a great ambassador for the city and for YRNO. And how did he get his nickname? By channeling “The Fresh Prince,” of course. Yo Holmes, to Bel Air! =====>


The Fresh Prince


Dvhante Woods - Team Leader

Dvhante, a graduate of John McDonogh Senior High School and a Construction Engineering Major at Delgado Community College, is a dedicated worker at Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.  He started with the team in the summer of 2011, and his work ethic led him to join the staff officially as a team leader.


Dvhante Woods


Ryan Roberts - Team Leader

Ryan started working for YRNO in the summer of 2011, after graduating from Archbishop Rummel High School.  Carpentry is his area of expertise, along with helping volunteers.  He learned how to work in construction in New Orleans at an early age and is currently a student at UNO.


Ryan Roberts


Our Board

Robert Whitman Jr. - President

Robert Whitman Jr. received his B.S. from Tulane University in 1973 and his Masters in Education one year later from Loyola. In addition to his educational pursuits, he received and has maintained his status as a Certified Financial Planner. Bob has worked for Rummel High School since 1983,where he has served in various capacities including: director of guidance, president of school board, and director of special education. He began his community service campaign in 1992 including a Service Learning Ambassador for the state in 1998. After Katrina, he helped create Youth Rebuilding New Orleans to help students get involved with the area’s recovery. In addition to his service work, Bob enjoys staying active by playing and following various sports.




Robert Whitman Jr.


Evan Nicoll - Public Relations

Evan Nicoll, from Kenner, LA attended Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie. He first became involved with YRNO in the Fall of 2006 after being displaced to Panama City Beach, Florida for a year due to Hurricane Katrina. Upon returning to Rummel, he helped work on some homes with friends through YRNO and has been with the organization ever since. After graduating from Tulane University, Evan currently works for his Alma Mater as a Tulane Fund Class Officer for Young Alumni and Student Philanthropy.


Evan Nicoll


Irv Barousse - Historian

Irv Barousse, a graduate of St Aloysius High School and the University of New Orleans with a BA in Psychology, Irvin Barousse received his Masters in Special Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. His 41 years of teaching included St. Philip Neri, Holy Cross High School, and Archbishop Rummel High School. During his tenure at Rummel, Mr. Barousse created and maintained the Resource Department for 29 years before retiring in 2009. Irvin began working with Bob Whitman in the early 1980s when Resource Students built vegetable and flower gardens for residents of the St. Thomas Projects. Mr. Barousse has continued to work with Mr. Whitman in his outreach programs because of Mr. Whitman’s commitment to bettering the lives of the New Orleans community by involving the next generation of service leaders.

Irv Barousse

Jean Barousse - Secretary

Jean L. Barousse is a native New Orleanian who lives on the Northshore.  Jean taught English primarily at St. Scholastica Academy in Covington and Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie.  Approximately 30 years ago, Jean started the high school service program at St. Scholastica Academy.  While raising her two children, Jean worked as Secretary/Parish Administrator for 16 years at her Catholic parish in Mandeville.  Besides her work with YRNO, Mrs. Barousse’s volunteer work includes working at the non-profit St. Francis Thrift Store in Mandeville and participating in a monthly sewing circle creating clothing and other items for foster children and cancer patients.

Jean Barousse

Mary Shoemaker

Mary C. Shoemaker is an Archbishop Chapelle and UNO graduate with a BS in Biology Education and a MED in Curriculum and Instruction. She recently retired after thirty-five years teaching biology and chemistry in public and parochial schools in the metro New Orleans area. Katrina motivated her to actively participate in the recovery of the city of New Orleans by co-founding YRNO.

Mary Shoemaker