"Our journey for positive youth development has not stopped during COVID. It has propelled our youth forward, towards a journey that shows patience, creativity and a greater understanding of engagement during unexpected change."

– Sashika Baunchand, OMG Founder and President, Louisiana

Louisiana Youth For Excellence (LYFE) was created to promote positive youth development and to build awareness of consequences for at-risk behaviors for today’s vulnerable youth such as children in foster care, children in poverty, and children in juvenile detention centers. Prioritizing our most at-risk youth first, our goal is to expand statewide and provide our positive message to all students throughout Louisiana.  

LYFE works with schools, non-profit and faith-based organizations, parents, and the community to teach goals setting, leadership development, character building, and integrity.

A Message from the Governor

As your governor, I am committed to making youth a priority in Louisiana. Through the Louisiana Youth for Excellence Program, my administration will provide access to resources supporting young people in Louisiana through the issues they face each and every day. The rates of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV, are unacceptably high in Louisiana. Louisiana Youth For Excellence will empower youth, build self-esteem, and decrease the at-risk behaviors contributing to these high rates. This program emphasizes the importance of character building and provides our youth with a foundation built on strong decision making and leadership skills.

We want young Louisianans to be successful, and we can increase their likelihood of success through education. By increasing awareness of the consequences of at-risk behaviors, we create a better future for Louisiana.

- Governor John Bel Edwards


  • Shirley Johnson, Executive Director
  • Tressa Dunbar, Executive Administrative Assistance
  • Evan Alvarez, Community Specialist
  • Ashle Young, Program Manager 



For more resources for adolescents, visit the We Think Twice website.