In recent years, the recommendations and strategies YouthShift set forward have evolved into real-life actions across the New Orleans youth development landscape. One evolution in the work has been the launch of the New Orleans Youth Alliance, a separate intermediary organization that continues to champion this work. Join NOYA on this next phase of the work!

Please note that as of January 1, 2019, is no longer being updated. Please follow the link above to join NOYA and the community advancing YouthShift’s recommendations and strategies.

What is Youthshift?

YouthShift is a movement of people who are committed to improving outcomes for children and youth in New Orleans. Leaders from nonprofit and government agencies who work with children and youth every day have committed to working together and proposed ways their programs and organizations can ensure every young person in New Orleans thrives. Together, we envision a flourishing New Orleans in which all young people, their families and communities are happy, healthy, secure and empowered.

YouthShift Values

  • Collaboration – YouthShift believes that we need to work together to effectively address the myriad of challenges our children and youth face. We cannot create the community we want if we work independently instead of together.
  • Inclusiveness – YouthShift was created with the intent to be inclusive – take all voices, especially youth themselves, into account.
  • Data-driven Improvement –YouthShift embraces a culture of improvement – using data to know where we are and where we need to improve and then doing everything we can to do better for all New Orleans youth.

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Priority Areas For Our Youth

Health and Wellbeing

Health & Well Being

All children should…

Have access to primary care and/or behavioral health providers

Have consistent access to healthy, nutritious food

Have access to sexual and reproductive health education and services

Be free from acute or chronic trauma

Economic Stability

Economic Stability

All children should…

Have the foundational and critical thinking skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce

Have access to diverse high-quality postsecondary opportunities

Be exposed and connected to career pathways



All children should…

Have access to high quality early care and education programs

Have learning opportunities that include arts, enrichment, culture and socio-emotional learning

Be prepared to successfully transition between developmental stages

Receive timely and appropriate intervention when they exhibit behaviors (chronic absence, truancy, behavioral incidents, etc.) that are predictors of negative academic outcomes

Receive fair disciplinary treatment in schools

Space and Place

Space and Place

All children should…

Have access to safe spaces in which to play and exercise

Have safe and stable housing

Have adequate transportation options to get to work, after-school activities and school

Safety and Justice

Safety & Justice

All children should…

Be safe from direct and indirect forms of violence

Be safe from abuse and neglect

Be free from the impacts that over incarceration have on family stability, economic opportunity and the safety nets that support children

Youth Voice

Youth Voice

All children should…

Be actively engaged and empowered to participate in decision making processes that affect them

Be adequately supported to have a voice and be actively and equitably engaged

Have opportunities to apply leadership skills in a positive way

Why Do We Need Youthshift?

YouthShift’s work will benefit the organizations and agencies that work with or on behalf of young people by improving youth and family engagement, access to information, program quality, public policy and capacity for collaboration. There are 17 different systems and over 400 agencies that work with and on behalf of children and youth in New Orleans. YouthShift provides them:

  • A common vision for improving outcomes for young people
  • Tools and resources to help improve and align their supports and services
  • Recommendations for deeper coordination between organizations




"You've made a lot of progress. That gives us hope. But it doesn't allow for complacency. It doesn't mean we can rest. Our work won't be done when almost 40 percent of the children still live in poverty in this city."

President Obama,
Katrina Anniversary Address
August 28, 2015

How Do I Get Involved?

In our report A Call for Connection, we outline a series of recommendations for how to connect youth with the resources they require. To put these recommendations in motion, WE NEED YOU!

We need ALL of New Orleans – teachers, staff members, parents, youth, business leaders, clergy members, city employees, elected officials and neighbors, too! We hope you will join us as we “shift” into action for New Orleans children and youth, ensuring all young people and their families are happy, healthy, secure and empowered.

You can get involved in three ways:

  1. Be a Champion – Have your organization commit to all five recommendations and endorse the Call for Connection. Inform your team and boards, engage directly with the Steering Committee, educate other stakeholders, and learn more! If you want to work deeply on one or more of the recommendations, sign up for an action team below!
  2. Be a Contributor – Is your organization already working towards these priority outcomes? Let us know by emailing so we can include your work in our efforts.
  3. Be a Friend – Like YouthShift on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check back on our website for updates and information regarding next steps and upcoming events. Sign up for our new newsletter below if you would like routine updates!



Special Thanks To Our Steering Committee

Agenda for ChildrenBCMTulane University Cowen Institute for Public Education InitiativesCommunities In SchoolsLouisiana Public Health InstituteChildren's Bureau of New OrleansNew Orleans Public LibraryThe Data CenterUnited WayMetropolitan Human Services DistrictNew Orleans Health DepartmentLouisiana Center for Children's RightsKid SmartThe University of New OrleansBroadmoor Improvement AssociationThe Forum For Youth InvestmentLaureaus Sport For Good Foundation