YAYA inspires young leaders through art in New Orleans

May 1, 2022
May 1, 2022

In 2021, The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community launched The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community Fund, which empowers our restaurant team members and U.S. franchise partners to support the communities they serve by applying for grants on behalf of local organizations addressing one or more of the Foundation’s focus areas – youth leadership and entrepreneurship, food security and food waste reduction.

In its first year, the Building Community Fund provided nearly $1 million to more than 100 organizations based in 40 U.S. cities. Nominated by Papa Johns franchise partners in the New Orleans area, Young Aspirations Young Artists (YAYA) received $10,000 to support their work in youth leadership.

Unleashing the power of creativity

Since 1988, YAYA has provided educational experiences in the arts and entrepreneurship to New Orleans-area children and youth, fostering and supporting their individual ambitions and empowering creative young people to become successful adults. Through after-school enrichment programs, YAYA has nurtured the creative talents of New Orleans high school students in ways that strengthen their academic success, life skills and professional preparedness.

At the Papa John’s Foundation, one of our main areas of focus is on youth entrepreneurship and leadership and we are proud to support YAYA’s efforts to serve their community and build strong leaders through the arts. At a time when donations have been down, we committed to supported YAYA as it expanded its impact by bringing much-needed mental health services to young people impacted by the pandemic.

This support has helped YAYA address inequities in education, professional development and social development among youth and provide young leaders in New Orleans with experiences that would otherwise be unavailable to them. For example, three students from YAYA recently traveled to Italy as part of a week-long intensive course to explore different art media, on a trip fully funded by YAYA supporters.