May, 2016 - Learn more about our new Illumination Centers: The Success Preparatory Academy and inside at the New Orleans Jazz Market! 

November 10, 2014  Representatives of the YRI traveled to Friends Academy, Locust Valley (Long Island), New York to meet with select faculty, administrators and student leaders to further discuss the establishment of a partnership to assist the disenfranchised youth of greater New Orleans.  These discussions were met with success.  The YRI and Friends Academy agreed to support YRI efforts in the annual YRI "POWER THROUGH READING" program as well as fundraising efforts to support the YRI's Illumination Center initiative.  The YRI will also serve as a facilitator to all Friends Academy philanthropic efforts in Greater New Orleans.

August 21, 2014  The YRI participated in a fund raiser, Painting with a Twist, an event in which proceeds support the non-profit, "Help Free an Angel", an after school program for children with special needs.

August 5-7, 2014  The YRI partnered with faculty and students from Friendship Academy, Locust Hills, NY who traveled to New Orleans to help build gardens on the grounds of McDonough 3w, Algiers LA.

July 2014  The YRI annual POWER THROUGH READING book drive netted 930 age appropriate books for K8th grade  students.  These books are donated to area pre-existing reading programs. To date, the YRI has collected and donated approximately 26,000 age appropriate books to New Orleans area reading efforts.

June 1, 2014 The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI) launches the 7th annual “POWER THROUGH READING” book drive.  Greater New Orleanians and others around the country are encouraged, during the month of June, to donate new or gently-used age appropriate books for pre-K through middle school children which can be dropped off at your neighborhood New Orleans Public Library branch or mailed to the YRI office: P.O. BOX 24873 New Orleans, LA 70184. 


James Bernazzani, President of the Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI), is once again joining forces with Irvin Mayfield, Jr., renowned New Orleans jazz musician and the YRI Board of Directors to launch the 7th Annual "POWER THROUGH READING" community-wide book drive. Since the 2008 inception of the YRI’s "POWER THROUGH READING" Program, the YRI has collected and distributed over 25,000 books to Greater New Orleans pre-existing reading programs. Read the full Media Release 

May 8, 2014 The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI) endorses Mr. David Batiste for inclusion into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.  Mr. Batiste and his family have consistently demonstrated their devotion to ensure Greater New Orleans at-risk youth believe that their future holds many positive goals and that they are attainable. 

April 25, 2014 The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI) begins construction on the first YRI Illumination Center at the Success Preparatory Academy, a K-8 transformation founded in New Orleans in 2009.  The YRI Board has voted to focus on literacy programs for the disenfranchised youth of Greater New Orleans.  To that end, the YRI will embark on a very ambitious endeavor to establish YRI Illumination Centers in Greater New Orleans to act as safe havens where children can learn computer skills.  READ MORE