Since 2006, VAYLA has fostered the development and empowerment of youth in New Orleans East, through educational services, recreational activities, cultural enrichment, and youth-led community organizing in our city where youth have faced both natural and man-made disasters, we understand the great need to support youth with services as well as leadership development. Our approach allows us to address both the immediate needs of our youth while empowering them to work for systemic social change that will provide long-term benefits for the entire community.
History and Past Accomplishments
VAYLA serves Vietnamese, Latino, and African American youth through engaging their families to holistically address the issues and barriers they face, developing plans that help them meet their goals. As previously mentioned, we offer multiple services that focus on their education, health, and their leadership while fostering the development of relationships with a network of caring adults to further support them. For parents and guardians, we offer ESL, GED, and civic engagement classes that help them tap into a broader range of resources for their families. Through our work we have successfully served over 1,000 youth annually.
Evidence in how we have been able to shape the lives of young people can be underscore by the following examples of evidence-based practices:Raise Your Hand Campaign, Family Circle, and the Villages of the East Coalition.
Goals and Strategies
- Provide opportunities for families and individuals to learn, grow, develop, and become self-sufficient, productive citizens.
- Provide effective advocacy services to families and individuals to empower them to advocate for themselves and actively engage and participate in community and society.
- Provide social support services to families and individuals by promoting education, health, leadership, cultural, and generational connections.
- Develop VAYLA to become a resource center where families and individuals can get the information they need to make effective decisions.
Needs and Opportunities
In the past few years, VAYLA has grown from a small staff of 4 to a team of 14. The staff expansion allows the organization to serve more youth in the community and more recently, with their parents. VAYLA is currently housed in one small central office area and is rapidly outgrowing the space.