This spring, 50 young leaders were selected to become the newest members of Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans. The six-month program will educate participants about philanthropy and the nonprofit community in greater New Orleans, while providing a hands-on, grant-making experience. Each class is selected through a competitive application process, and the 2015 class is the largest since the program began six years ago.

More than 200 young professionals have completed the program, and EPNO members have distributed over $200,000 in grants to 43 local organizations. Each member contributes $500, which EPNO then matches dollar for dollar through outside sponsorships and alumni contributions. Participants combine their resources, learn about the grantmaking process, review proposals from local nonprofits seeking funds and provide targeted grants to selected nonprofits.

For 2015, EPNO participants are divided into five issue-based grantmaking teams: arts and culture, racial equity, women’s issues, workforce development and youth development. Each team will have $10,000 to allocate to the nonprofit(s) of their choice.

Participants evaluate grant proposals, conduct site visits and work with their teammates to decide to award grants based on where their funds can have the greatest impact. The program culminates in an awards ceremony where grant recipients are honored and presented with the grant award.

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EPNO’s 2015 class includes:

  • Alyssa Owens, RENEW Schools; Andrew Yaspan, city of New Orleans; Ann Heslin, Fabulous Fetes LLC and Pink Chariot LLC; Ashley Edwards, Cosmich, Simmons & Brown, PLLC; Aurora Tom-Quinn, IWES; Bessie Goggins, ARISE Schools; Bradford Walker, Premium Parking & Admiral Security Services; Brittany Heller, Joule Solar Energy; Brooks Duplessis, Liberty Bank and Trust Co.; Caitlin Rose Polivoda, University of New Orleans, self-employed; Caleb Roberts, Tulane University; Catherine Rieder, Tulane Ave. Law Office; Catherine Hudson, Foot and Ankle Center; Charles Corprew, Loyola University; Cheryl Sherrod, Doctors After Hours; Christopher Ard, city of New Orleans; Cristin Bordelon, Leake & Andersson, LLP; Dwight Brown II, LSU Health Sciences Center; Elizabeth Beeson, United Way of Southeast Louisiana; Emily Sampson, Trumpet Group; Emily Ferris, Edna Karr High School/InspireNOLA Charter Schools; Emmy O’Dwyer, FirstLine Schools; Erin Marziale, National Network of Public Health Institutes; George Van Wormer, Netchex; Georgia Ainsworth, Cosmich Simmons & Brown PLLC; Greta Anderson, FirstLine Schools; Harry Vorhoff, Tulane Law School; Jesse Watson, Discovery Health Sciences Foundation; John Williams, Law Offices of John S. Williams; Jose Massingue, Social Security Administration; Joshua Cox, Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman Sarver; Juan Linares, Rice, Voelker LLC; Keisha Dubuclet, Center for Development and Learning; Kelly McIntosh Cox, Recovery School District; Kelly Carpenter, Vivid Ink Graphics; Kelsi King, New Orleans College Prep; Kristina Hoang, Tulane University; Maggie Ehrenreich, Wells Fargo & Co.; Megan Toles, Ernst & Young LLP; Micah Fincher, Jones Walker LLP; Miranda Celestre, self-employed; Nicole Hershey, Eiffel Society; Paige O’Hale, U.S. Department of Justice; Samuel Kimball, KPMG LLP; Sean Perkins, Orleans Parish School Board; Siddhartha Padmanabha, Touro Infirmary; Stephanie Powell, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Campaign; Tina Chong, Jefferson Parish Public School System; Tommy Nocera, self-employed and Keller Williams; Wesley Barr, The Olinde Firm, LLC.