New Pathways New Orleans (NPNO) aims to be a relentless partner that is committed to cross-sector approaches to solving seemingly intractable problems that confront our City’s youth with the most significant needs.


A city with pathways for all youth to succeed


Building cross-sector solutions for New Orleans youth with significant needs

What We Do

New Pathways New Orleans (NPNO)’s mission is to build cross-sector solutions for New Orleans youth with significant needs in three priority areas: special education, mental and behavioral health, and juvenile justice. NPNO envisions a city with pathways for all youth to succeed, and operationalizes our vision within each priority area by serving as a neutral consultant, partner, and leader across sectors.

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Facilitate a shared vision and problem solving.

2. Understand

Build collective knowledge.

3. Transform

Catalyze solutions.

4. Resource

Provide expertise, advocacy, and funding


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Significant gaps exist in quality and effective special education programming for students with disabilities.

Our desired outcome

Diverse and appropriate programs and settings exist for all students with disabilities.

High quality programs and specialized hubs exist and are equipped to meet the needs of students with disabilities and prepare them for further education, employment, independent living and community involvement.


Thousands of New Orleans students require diverse special education programming…

…but today, schools are ill-equipped to meet these demands, with few specialized hubs for youth with the most acute needs and only 12% of students with disabilities scoring mastery or above on the LEAP Test.


Annually, fewer than 20% of individuals earning an education credential are accredited in special education.



Insufficient talent pipeline and expertise among front-line special education professionals.

Our desired outcome

A robust talent pipeline of special education professionals.

A comprehensive population of teachers, leaders and support staff consistently meet the needs of students with disabilities and their families, regardless of race or other factors.



The lack of understanding of child and adolescent development and trauma-informed practices results in negative long-term outcomes for youth and society.

Our desired outcome

Best practices for how children learn and grow are understood and applied.

Youth-serving professionals and systems share a common understanding of child and adolescent development and trauma-informed practices and incorporate these learnings to promote the well being of young people.


Only 1 in 8 New Orleans schools are currently piloting trauma informed approaches.

The lifetime costs of failing to adequately screen for and treat students’ PTSD in a single school as great as $8.8 million.



Critical gaps exist across the pediatric psychiatric continuum of care in New Orleans.

Our desired outcome

Across the continuum of care, mental and behavioral health services for youth exist and are accessible.

High quality mental and behavioral health services exist and have the capacity to serve young people with the most significant needs at all points along the continuum of care.



Youth who are justice-involved or at risk lack the support and services to find positive pathways and avoid further system involvement.

Our desired outcome

High quality programs prevent juvenile justice system interaction and support justice involved youth.

High quality services for youth who are justice-involved or at risk, result in improved school connection, increased graduation/HiSET attainment, more sustainable career pathways, and reduced recidivism.

Of the 300 youth detained each year in New Orleans, experts estimate…



Criminalization of normal childhood behaviors, particularly for minority youth, leads to negative long-term outcomes for young people and society.

Our desired outcome

Decreased youth interactions with juvenile-justice system and reduced racialized outcomes.

Institutions employ developmentally appropriate responses that decrease interactions with the juvenile justice system and reduce racialized outcomes.


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The New Orleans general education graduation rate was 73% in 2017.

By comparison, the special education graduation rate was only 55%.

Louisiana spends only $60/capita on mental health issues.

The State ranks 48th in access to mental health services.

Over last decade, an average of 1,000 youth were arrested annually in New Orleans.

Black youth are 6x more likely than white youth to be jailed in Louisiana.