The New Orleans Pelicans tip off their regular season schedule in on October 19 on the road against the Brooklyn Nets. However, the team's efforts to build up the community have no offseason. Previously, five New Orleans-based non-profit organizations have been recognized and awarded funding in the NBA Foundation’s previous grant rounds.
YouthForce NOLA, New Orleans Youth Alliance, Son of a Saint, Boys Town Louisiana, and Youth Empowerment Project have all benefitted from partnering with the New Orleans Pelicans and the NBA Foundation. Reconcile New Orleans and YouthForce NOLA, two New Orleans-based non-profit organizations were recognized and awarded in the NBA Foundation’s sixth round of community investment.
“Café Reconcile works to ensure that all young people are embraced and empowered to pursue their potential by providing young adults ages 16-24 workforce development and supports to their success,” said Gerald Duhon, Café Reconcile executive director. 
Duhon added, “With the NBA’s investment and Mrs. Gayle Benson’s leadership, Reconcile Interns will experience a personally customized, youth-centered workforce development program where they gain occupational skills, receive one-on-one coaching, access to mental health services, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. As a result, Interns will experience a supportive community, meaningful work experience, and economic empowerment.”
YouthForce NOLA is a collaborative effort between educational, business, and civic entities that connects schools and companies through its network of training providers and community organizations. Its vision is that New Orleans will have "the most sought-after talent for hiring and advancement in the region’s high-wage career pathways."
“We are thrilled to renew our partnership with the NBA Foundation for two more years, and to deepen our relationship with the New Orleans Pelicans,” said Cate Swinburn, YouthForce NOLA co-founder and president. “Thanks to the leadership of Mrs. Gayle Benson, both locally and on the NBA Foundation board of directors, YouthForce is able to continue to open more doors to economic opportunity for New Orleans students.”
The NBA Foundation tipped off its second year of awarding grant dollars this summer by announcing 40 new grants totaling $20 million to organizations. The foundation was seeded with a 10-year $300 million commitment from the NBA Board of Governors in 2020, has now awarded 158 grants to date, totaling more than $53 million to non-profit organizations. 
According to the NBA Foundation's release, "These grants are creating employment opportunities, furthering career advancement, and driving greater economic empowerment for Black youth throughout the United States and Canada. Named as part of the Foundation’s sixth grant round and the second of 2022, the grants are focused on workforce development, pathways for higher education, mentoring, and entrepreneurship for Black youth."
Pelicans Scoop writer.

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