YEP Design Works is a program of the Youth Empowerment Project

We train creative youth for creative careers

How? They apprentice under pro mentors, work for real clients and create industry-standard design products


YEP Design Works gives underserved youth a competitive edge on the pathway to sustainable creative careers.

Ambitious young designers get a job that pays an educational stipend to do real client work under the mentorship of experienced design professionals. Those pro mentors guide and collaborate on every step of the design process, focusing the young designers’ fresh insights and raw talent. As part of the training program, youth pitch to clients, receive and implement critical feedback, and deliver a polished product to local and national clients.


What We Offer

Education & Training

Life Skills and Professionalism

Design Principles


Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, AfterEffects 

Client Process

Pitching, Giving and Receiving Feedback

Polished Portfolio

Design Services

Graphic Design




3D Design


Youth Audience Consulting

Our Work

Take a glimpse at select works below.  

For full portfolio, check this out.  

Why We Do It


Creative and talented youth without access to quality arts programming get left out of the creative digital media boom, and the people who design our world continue to look and think the same.

First –

There are 5.5 Million "opportunity youth", defined as 16-24 year-olds not enrolled in school or engaged in work, in the United States.

In the Greater New Orleans region, there are 6,800+. The annual cost of this population to taxpayers is $360 million. The cost to families and communities is immeasurable.

Second –

Creative/Tech careers are booming in urban centers and while public education is catching up, local youth need access now.

Creative / Tech is one of GNO’s top three high-wage, high-need industries in the region with 10,000+ workers required by 2025; it is the fastest growing tech sector in the US.

 44% of black men in New Orleans are unemployed.

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Third –

Creativity and design are in-demand skills.

Nationally, over 42 startups co-founded by designers have been acquired by companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Yahoo


We need to offer a competitive edge to talented, underserved creative youth to explore and train for creative jobs NOW.


Sources: The New Orleans Advocate, Design in Tech Report 2016, Cowen Institute 2016 Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, Greater New Orleans, Inc. Greater New Regional Economy and Opportunity Report, Youth Empowerment Project


We got our start as Young Creative Agency (YCA) when our founder piloted the concept for a working youth design studio in her Art classroom in Sci High of New Orleans.

In 2016 we became YEP Design Works – the design center of Youth Empowerment Project – doing the same awesome stuff you’ll read about in these articles!

@YEPNOLA Instagram Feed

Get Involved


Apply to join our studio and be on the way to creating awesome graphic, web, and 3D design!

Put our studio of young, innovative, bold designers to work on your design needs.


If you are an experienced graphic designer, video game artist, art director, or any other creative type that can speak to creative careers, please contact us to learn more about opportunities to lead a workshop, be a guest speaker, or join our Remote Design Mentor Cohort on Slack.

Mentor and educate youth in technical skill acquisition and in the field of design/creative careers; art direct; and facilitate completion of real client jobs in the studio with youth. Project-basis or maintain consistent weekly schedule.

Your donation to the Youth Empowerment Project helps provide quality, innovative programs to some of New Orleans' most under served youth.

Name *

Our Location

1604 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard   

We’ve MOVED to a larger space next to YEP Bike Works.

Youth Empowerment Project | a 501c3 non-profit based in New Orleans