The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI) is a 501c (3) public charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Greater New Orleans by creating structured opportunity and discipline for area at-risk youth. The YRI implements this vision through the development of programs designed to build leadership and confidence thus instilling life-long skills.
The YRI mission is to identify at-risk youth during their age of innocence, build structure and discipline within this group so as they age and reach their age of reason, they have the requisite technical and social skills to function in a positive manner. Many of these at-risk youth fail to develop these skills at a young age because of failures in the family structure and/or failures of select social institutions. It is the intent of the YRI to identify these gaps and create skills that help breed future success. The YRI achieves this by partnering with a variety of area academic, government, business and charitable institutions. Since the inception of the YRI during May 2008, YRI programs developed and/or administered with select partners have touched the lives of over 70,000 at-risk area youth.
Although heavily invested in literacy programs, the YRI has successfully developed, administered and/or donated funding to area partner programs that also help at-risk youth, and by extension, entire families. The YRI POWER THROUGH READING PROGRAM has donated over 25,000 age appropriate books to pre-existing reading programs. Also, a very ambitious YRI effort is the development of YRI ILLUMINATION CENTERS designed to provide safe havens for at-risk youth to learn and develop computer skills. These ILLUMINATION CENTERS, currently moving out of the developmental stage, will either be placed in existing local school or community settings or built as stand-alone structures in Greater New Orleans.
The YRI also assists in a range of programs that run the gamut from drug abatement to feeding programs for the less fortunate. The YRI has a very strong Board of Directors and very low operational overhead. It is the intent of the YRI to maximize any funding received to support these programs and not for YRI personnel and/or administrative costs.
The YRI, with our partners, will continue these initiatives that reintroduce hope and empower the youth of Greater New Orleans. Ultimately, it is imperative that children be hopeful regarding their futures, believing that their future holds many possibilities and that their personal goals are attainable.