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.
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.
Eliza Fields - Youth Engagement Coordinator
Eliza Fields was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and graduated from Canisius College with a triple major in International Relations, English and European Studies. Describing herself as both quiet and a nerd, she has studied abroad in France and loves the French language and culture. She also enjoys reading and writing, and in the future is considering attending graduate school, going to West Africa through the Peace Corps or Fulbright Program, or working for an energy company. (Don’t be surprised if she does all three.) For laughs, ask Eliza if you should try walking through a McDonald’s drive-through.
Sandy Stibitz - Youth Engagement Coordinator
Sandy Stibitz is from Kensington, Maryland and is known to many as “Sandy Beaches,” thanks to Facebook. The daughter of two scientists, she graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio with a degree in American Studies. The creative type, Sandy loves sculpture and print making, and she also co-hosted a music show on her college radio station. She is now YRNO’s Youth Engagement Coordinator at Sci Academy. Interested in attending graduate school eventually, she lists “playground designer” as a dream job. If you want to get her riled up, ask her if she’s found her canoe yet.
Kyle Cousans – Program Analyst
A Metairie native, Kyle Cousans is a graduate of Brother Martin High School and the University of Oklahoma, where he got his degree in Geography. Kyle began as an intern at YRNO, working on projects such as a virtual timecard system and an update to our volunteer handbook, before taking a Louisiana Delta Service Corps position with us. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports and Big Brother, listening to the music of Pearl Jam and following the adventures of his favorite therapy dog, Harvard Dangerfield. Kyle enjoys serving the community and enriching people’s lives, and someday hopes to relocate to the West Coast, possibly to Seattle or San Francisco.
Joe Robert - Construction Manager
A native New Orleanian who spent most of his childhood in the Lower Ninth Ward, Joe Robert has more than 30 years of experience in construction. He attended the former Rabouin vocational school, where he honed his carpentry skills. Joe got into the business when he bought a dump truck and did some contracting on the side, and later transitioned to working on old New Orleans homes, buying and selling them. Most recently, he worked with St. Paul’s Homecoming Center and Hike for KaTREEna. Joe and his wife Gloria have two daughters.
Prince Holmes – Asst. Construction Manager
Prince is a proud alum of Edna Karr High School and Delgado Community College. 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! =====>
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.
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.
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.
Chris Altobello is from Kenner, LA and graduated from Archbishop Rummel High School in 2008. He helped found YRNO with other students and teachers shortly after Hurricane Katrina and became a board member during his time at Archbishop Rummel. Chris received a B.S. and Masters from LSU in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Upon his return to the New Orleans area, Chris returned as a board member with a financial background. He is currently a Control & Risk Consultant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and is studying to become a Certified Public Account.