NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Lyft, whose mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, is pleased to celebrate its success with partner, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), a local non-profit dedicated to helping underserved youth in the Greater New Orleans community through mentoring, education, and employment training programs.

The partnership, which started in 2018, was designed to specifically service the Work and Learn Center of YEP, a training program for youth aged 16-24, who are taught vital hard and soft skills to help them obtain and keep employment. Lyft is the official transportation partner, making drivers available to take students to and from their trainings free of charge.

In the short time Lyft has been providing rides to individuals enrolled in the program, over 70 students have taken advantage of the ride-sharing app to go to and from the trainings provided by YEP.

“We are so proud to offer this service to YEP students,” said Jessica Inman, Lyft Louisiana Market manager. “Knowing that so many students are utilizing this benefit is something that truly makes us happy. Lyft is very dedicated to improving the lives of people within our community, and our partnership with YEP is a true testament to that commitment.”

In addition to complimentary transportation, Lyft provides flexibility for Work and Learn participants, who might need to get to and from after-hour trainings, during the week, weekend or even in the case of a family emergency.

“Our partnership with Lyft has been helpful for youth making the transition to employment to be able to work later hours and on the weekends, when public transportation is less frequent or unavailable in some parts of the city. We use the Lyft platform in conjunction with public transportation to help young people be more self-sufficient or in emergency situations. In many cases, the youth we serve do not have reliable access to a private vehicle,” Melissa Sawyer, YEP co-founder and executive director/CEO.

“The Lyft program has been great, I have been able to get rides from my house to work if I accidentally miss the bus, which can sometimes run late or early,” said Juan, a YEP Works participant. With an 18-mile commute from the West Bank the Lyft program has been particularly beneficial, “The fact that I can call YEP staff and have them connect me with a Lyft is so immensely helpful, especially living on the Westbank,” he said.

For more information about YEP and their programming, visit their website.