William Stoudt - Executive Director
Jack Styczynski -Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA
Jack Styczynski is from New York and spent more than 25 years in the media, most recently as a researcher at the New York Times and NBC, simultaneously teaching at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, he was a radio news and sportscaster in Eunice, where he fell in love with all things Louisiana. He came to YRNO after using most of his post-Katrina vacation time to volunteer with various New Orleans rebuilding organizations. He’s a proud “Who Dat” with a journalism degree from Marques Colston’s alma mater (Hofstra University) and a library degree from the University at Albany.
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!
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.
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.
Ken “Murph” Whitman - Construction Manager
Before coming to YRNO, Murph taught in New Orleans schools for more than 30 years. On the side, he plays a Hall of Fame worthy game of flag football and has worked with the Saints equipment department since Archie Manning was the team’s quarterback. Murph’s brother Bob is YRNO’s board president and recruited him to be our construction manager after many years of fixing his own house. His tongue-in-cheek humor keeps everyone smiling and if you want to get him talking, ask him about former Saints punter Mitch Berger or where he was during Garrett Hartley’s championship-winning kick.
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 worked 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.
Prince Holmes - Team Leader
Prince is a proud alumni of Edna Karr High School. He is currently attending Delgado, studying Criminal Justice. Prince joined YRNO through the JOB 1 summer program in 2011. Prince enjoys meeting and working with volunteers, and his charismatic personality makes him a great ambassador for the city and for YRNO.
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.
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.
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.
Sam Stephens - Safety Committee Chair
Sam, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, joined the YRNO 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. Sam is currently working on his M.S. in Crisis and Disaster Management from Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Academy.
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.
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.
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.