It’s been a busy summer here at Youth Rebuilding New Orleans! The sale of the “Blue House” on St. Ann was finalized, the “Purple House” is about to be listed for sale, and 431 volunteers from around the country worked with YRNO on hundreds of different projects, providing labor savings of over $51K in recovery and rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. A sincere thank you to all those generous and enthusiastic volunteers who contributed their time and energy to our mission!

Additionally, 19 local youth aged 16-21 from around the city of New Orleans participated in YRNO’s Summer REbuild Program pre-apprenticeship, which provides paid training in carpentry, home-building, volunteer management, job-readiness, soft-skills and career readiness.

Geremiah and Corie practice their power tool skills in a carpentry introduction project.

In partnership with the City of New Orleans’ Summer Employment Program, the first summer REbuild cohort kicked off in June, and the second cohort of youth started in July, working 20 hours per week. Participants built a fence in the 7th Ward for a community member, did finishing work at the Purple House, and framed and fire-blocked the Yellow House interior.

All our trainees also completed a high-quality resume, mock interview, job application, and learned personal finance tips. We had weekly discussions on social justice topics affecting New Orleans as well as the country as a whole, and we worked on professional communication, teamwork, and problem-solving throughout the program.

Partnerships with employers around the city, including Palmisano, Eskew Dumez +Ripple, Zehnder Communications, Tulane University, and Raven Production Management allowed REbuild trainees to take weekly career exploration field trips to their offices and sites. Raising Cane’s and Fresh Food Factor provided lunch for participants, and local entrepreneur MadChef visited as a motivational guest speaker for each cohort.

Special shoutout to our summer program assistant Jamonica (pictured below) who provided an expert perspective on leadership, motivation, and entrepreneurship.

Check out some of the photos below highlighting the REbuild participants’ hard work!