MENTORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

So many of our 504ward members ask us time and time again how they can give back. These mentorship opportunities allow you to connect with younger New Orleanians who are eager to connect with adults who can teach them, guide them, exercise with them, or simply hang out with them. The payback is instant and hard to measure — this is your chance to make a real impact in someone’s life, and to do it now. Check out these incredible groups:

100 Black Men
ACE Mentorship
Big Class
Boys and Girls Club
The Butterfly Movement
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of NOLA-Isaiah 43
College Track
Communities In Schools
Dress for Success
Each One, Save One
Foundation for Louisiana
Girls on the Run
Junior Achievement
NOLA for Life
The Orchid Society
Power Ties
Roots of Music
Roots of Renewal
Son of a Saint
Silverback Society
Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR)
STEM NOLA
Volunteers of America
Young Creative Agency
YLC College Admissions Project
Youth Empowerment Program
Youth Run
Know of other mentorship opportunities we didn’t mention? Email us at 504ward@504ward.com.

100 Black Men

The mission of the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans, Inc. is to provide support and improve the quality of life for African Americans, and youth in particular, in the New Orleans Community.

The organization’s vision is to become the city’s strongest, most self-reliant African-American volunteer organization focused on education, enrichment, and empowerment. The chapter has an aggressive plan entitled, Four For The Future, to address four key areas to strengthen the future of black youth: mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic empowerment.

Website: www.100blackmennola.org
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ACE Mentorship

High school students in the New Orleans area can now benefit from a nationwide program designed to introduce them to the wide range of career opportunities open to young people in architecture, construction, engineering, and related areas of the building design and construction industry.

At weekly meetings, student teams work directly with professionals from leading area firms, who volunteer their time to mentor the teams as they design hypothetical projects, tour local construction sites, and visit architectural, engineering and construction offices.

For students, it’s a unique chance to discover and develop new skills, solidify future goals and get on track to exciting, rewarding careers. In addition, many students form positive relationships with industry professionals who can provide important references for obtaining college admissions, scholarships, internships and full-time employment.

Website: www.acementor.org/index.php/affiliates/louisiana/new-orleans/about-us/
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Big Class

Big Class offers a variety of free, innovative programs that provide under-resourced students, aged 6-18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. They also aim to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. The services are structured with the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Website: www.bigclass.org

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Boys and Girls Club

For the past 50 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana has been a leading provider of afterschool and summer enrichment programs for at-risk youth. As an independent, local non-profit organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana depends on the support of volunteers to provide additional support to our programs as tutors, mentors, guest speakers and more for Club programs and to work on Club beautification projects to enhance our Club buildings. Each of our volunteers is critical to the organization’s continued ability to save the lives of at-risk kids across southeast Louisiana in the communities that we serve. We are honored by the strong commitment of individuals, community organizations and corporate partners who provide volunteer support at our Clubs.

Website: www.bgcsela.org

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The Butterfly Movement

The Butterfly Movement is pollinating the planet through our camps, circles, training, experiential workshops and retreats that contain culturally enriched exercises, tools and activities designed to activate a deeper connection with themselves and the earth.

The process of identity construction is a daunting life task for all human beings, but for women and girls of color, their identity construction is further complicated by having to integrate who they are as both females and minorities in a society in which both racial and gender stereotypes persist. Compounded with issues of cultural displacement and lack of a stable support system, some minority women and girls not only struggle with defining themselves, but also lack basic survival skills that can further thwart the normal and healthy development of a productive and secure self identity and connection to the earth.

The Butterfly Movement is committed to Reframing, Reconnecting, Regenerating and Reactivating, women and girls as they Rebuild their personal and land ecology all over the planet.

Website: www.thebutterflymovement.com/home.html
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Catholic Charities Archdiocese of NOLA-Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43 is a parenting and mentoring program created in partnership with the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The program is rooted in Judeo-Christian values and teachings with a mission of strengthening and supporting families to bring about a change in the culture of our society. Isaiah 43 empowers parents and youth to be active in promoting peace in their neighborhoods and to live by the values of love, peace, and forgiveness. The program engages youth and parents to encourage peaceful conflict resolution, skillful communication, constructive discipline, forgiveness, and leadership development.

Our mentoring program targets youth ages 10-18 and connects them with a caring role model. Isaiah 43 utilizes proven methods to work toward a culture that respects human life and teaches each person to respect him or herself and treat others with dignity.

Website: www.ccano.org/isaiah-43/
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College Track

College Track recruits students from underserved communities and works continuously with them from the summer before ninth grade through college graduation. Their ten-year program removes the barriers that prevent students from earning their college degree by providing them with comprehensive academic support, leadership training, financial and college advising, and scholarships. They teach their students the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.

Website: www.collegetrack.org
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Communities In Schools

At Communities In Schools, they work hand in hand with schools, communities, and families to surround their students with a caring network of support to help them stay in school and succeed in life. Their staff works with nearly 42,000 volunteers on the ground working in more than 2,200 PreK-12th grade public schools in the most challenged communities in 26 states and the District of Columbia serving 1.3 million young people and their families every year.

Communities In Schools established its New Orleans affiliate in 1996. Today they serve 6,000 students in grades PreK-12th across 18 New Orleans public schools.

Website: www.cisneworleans.org
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Dress for Success

Dress for Success’ purpose is to offer long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain safer and better futures.

They provide each client with professional attire to secure employment. Besides physically equipping the client with apparel and accessories, their programs furnish her with a confidence that she carries forever and the knowledge that she can actively define her life, the direction she takes and what success means to her.

They are an ever-expanding network of affiliates who work together with referral agencies, volunteers and companies across the world to make a big impact in women’s lives.

Website: www.neworleans.dressforsuccess.org
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Each One, Save One

Each One Save One is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering children in our community by providing an army of volunteer mentors throughout the metropolitan area. Each One Save One works with school districts and local government agencies to establish workable mentoring programs where none exist. Our mentors serve one hour during the school day each week for an entire school year.

The purpose of Each One Save One is to recruit, screen, train, and support mentors. Training, guidance and support will also involve mentees, parents and teachers.

Website: www.eachonesaveone.org
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Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run is a non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. Their mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

The 20-lesson Girls on the Run curriculum combines training for a 5K running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. All of this is accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community.

Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls, they teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 20-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.

Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment.

Website: www.gotrnola.org
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Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. They are the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement’s programs—in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy—ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.

Website: www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-gno/home
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NOLA for Life

NOLA for Life is a social movement of citizens taking personal responsibility to flip the script on NOLA’s street violence and give our youth a fighting chance to thrive. Started by Mayor Landrieu, NOLA for Life aims to inspire youths to change their thinking from defeated to emboldened and then work alongside them to flip the script on our city’s future.

Website: www.nolaforlife.org/home/
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The Orchid Society

The Orchid Society is a young professional network of African American women serving as positive role models for young minority girls in the New Orleans metro area through mentoring, community service and social awareness programming.

Since its inception, The Orchid Society has expanded its youth focused approach and adapted it to meet a more holistic approach. Recognizing that New Orleans youth do not live, obtain their education, and play in a vacuum, but rather, their daily lives are vastly influenced by the communities in which they thrive, we have expanded our focus beyond our interpersonal relationships with our mentees.

Their Mission is to maintain a strong network of professional women while serving as positive role models for young girls in the community through community service, mentoring and social awareness programming.

Website: www.theorchidsociety.org
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Power Ties

Power Ties is a career awareness program in the New Orleans area operated by the Young Leadership Council (YLC) that links professionals from various occupations with middle school students at Langston Hughes Academy, McDonogh City Park Academy, John Dibert Community School, and Arthur Ashe Charter School through a series of career-oriented workshops

Website: www.nolapowerties.org
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Roots of Music

The Roots of Music empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentorship while preserving and promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of our city. The Roots of Music fills a void in music education programs in New Orleans schools. Today, the Roots of Music serves over 100 students, making up a full marching band that has successfully paraded the city since Mardi Gras 2009.

The program provides music history and theory as well as instrumental instruction and ensemble performance preparation. They also provide academic tutoring, mentoring, and homework assistance. They serve kids ages 9-14 from low-income households — and to reduce common barriers to participation, they also provide students with round-trip transportation and a hot meal 5 days a week, 12 months a year.

Website: www.therootsofmusic.org
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Roots of Renewal

Roots of Renewal is a nonprofit social enterprise located in New Orleans, Louisiana that directly employs young adults directly out of prison to renovate blighted and abandoned properties into affordable housing.

Through job training, direct employment, and wraparound social services, Roots of Renewal helps neighbors transitioning from prison to their neighborhoods so that they can become the backbone of new, thriving communities in New Orleans.

Website: www.rootsofrenewal.org
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Son of a Saint

Son of a Saint exists to enhance the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and formation of positive, lasting peer-to- peer relationships. Each year, Son of a Saint selects a group of boys ages 10-13 to join the existing kids in the program. The boys must be fatherless due to their father’s incarceration, death, or abandonment. Each boy remains a member of Son of a Saint until he is 18 and receives his college acceptance letter.

Son of a Saint equips boys with the tools they need to become productive men. The Son of a Saint mentors’ most important role is simply to be a good example.

Website: www.sonofasaint.org
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Silverback Society

Silverback Society’s purpose is to supply the next generation of women and children with men who will have the “capacity” to contribute to better living for those who depend on them.

They gather men and resources from the community to ensure that every boy in middle school has an opportunity to meet his future, face to face before he is challenged with the opportunity of high school and further learning. In doing so, they believe that the men will be more likely to have satisfying and fulfilling lives and will not have to resort to violence to feel respected by their peers or their women and children.

Website: www.silverbacksociety.com/index.php
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Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR)

In the fall of every school year, STAIR’s second grade students are identified by their teachers as at risk of academic failure. These children attend school regularly. STAIR is not designed to help children with special learning needs or behavioral problems. Rather, STAIR targets children who need assistance in reading and whose teachers believe their skills will blossom given one-on-one attention.

STAIR uses a step-by-step professionally detailed program designed to enhance the curriculum of the public schools. STAIR supplies the students with reading practice booklets, workbooks, and basic supplies such as pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and flashcards; free books and a dictionary also are provided. For many children, these are the only books for their reading level in the home.

For an hour and a half Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday after school (2 and a half hours on Saturday mornings), STAIR tutors work with their students to complete the lessons included in 5 units of reading instruction. The volunteer tutor and child read together, play word games, practice phonics and write stories. A bond is forged between tutor and student, and learning occurs in a safe, nurturing environment. The hundreds of individuals who volunteer their time and talent for this program understand that the single most important aspect of a young child’s early academic development is the ability to read and comprehend.

Website: www.stairnola.org
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STEM NOLA

STEM NOLA’s purpose is to expose, inspire and engage members in the surrounding communities about the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEM NOLA designs and delivers activities, programs and events that bring inspiration, motivation and training to all STEM stakeholders, specifically focusing on underserved communities across the city. The mission of STEM NOLA is to grow future Innovators, Creators, and Entrepreneurs through inspiration, engagement, and exposure.

Website: www.stemnola.com/index.html
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Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans addresses the most challenging issues of the day and develops innovative solutions to meet the needs of the community. They offer more than 20 human services programs that enables them to support and empower children, families, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and veterans in 16 south Louisiana parishes. Delivering lifesaving short-term, as well as lifelong services to those in need, they support over 55,000 of the most underserved individuals in the community annually.

Website: www.voagno.org
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Young Creative Agency

Young Creative Agency is a youth design studio that pays teens a fair wage to do real client work under the guidance of experienced design mentors during out-of-school hours.

Youth pitch to clients, receive and implement feedback, and deliver a polished product that shows clients’ investment in the future of New Orleans’ youth and creative economy.

The technical skills in design software, professional education in a creative career field, and network of clients established through this job creates pathways for underserved youth to the high-wage, high-need creative digital media industry.

Studio behaviors and mindsets, such as collaboration, problem-solving, and persistence, prepare young people for any workplace seeking 21st Century Skills.

Website: www.youngcreativeagency.org
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YLC College Admissions Project

College Admissions Project pairs YLC volunteers with under-served high school seniors to help them navigate the requirements necessary to successfully apply to college. Volunteer “Guides” meet with students regularly to help draft a college wish list, meet application deadlines, edit essays, tackle FAFSA, search for and apply for financial aid, etc. Guides receive a manual and training, as well as support meetings to help properly serve the student they are matched with.

Website: ylcnola.org/display/collegeadmissionsproject/
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Youth Empowerment Program

The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is a community-based non-profit organization. YEP’s founders started the organization in 2004 in order to assist young people returning to New Orleans from correctional facilities. They started as the first-of-its-kind re-entry program for juvenile offenders in Louisiana and now they are the region’s most comprehensive and established agency working with at-risk, court-involved and out-of-school youth.

YEP now runs eight programs out of seven locations which provide over 1,000 youth annually with GED and literacy services; job skill development; mentoring; intensive case management; enrichment and summer activities; and a holistic set of client-centered ancillary wrap-around services that are unique to each youth and their individual circumstances.

Website: www.youthempowermentproject.org
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Youth Run NOLA

Founded in 2010 as an after-school club in St. Bernard Parish, Youth Run NOLA benefited from a wealth of generosity and guidance as a project of the Young Leadership Council. They create and empower a community of healthy, young leaders through running, with an intensive eight-month guided training program of twice weekly practices and monthly events overseen by teacher-coaches and volunteer running buddies. The program combats the obstacles facing our youth – many of whom cope with unsafe, unhealthy, and unsupportive circumstances – with positive, structured after-school engagement.

Website: www.youthrunnola.org
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Know of other mentorship opportunities that we didn’t mention? Email us at 504ward@504ward.com.