InspireNOLA Class of 2023 earns over $33 million in merit-based scholarships (sponsored)

They’ve put in the work, crossed the stage, and can now call themselves high school graduates! Congratulations to the class of 2023 from McDonogh 35 High School, Eleanor McMain Secondary School, and Edna Karr High School! These scholars have accomplished a multitude of things including over 33 million dollars in merit-based scholarships, We can’t wait to see what else our graduates will achieve in the future! Congratulations to our top scholars who were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian! Eleanor McMain Secondary School
Valedictorian: Benjamin Trinh Le
Salutatorian: Keith Anthony Patterson
McDonogh 35 Senior High School
Valedictorian: Kali Rose Marie Gethers
Salutatorian: Breanna Sharell Williams
Edna Karr High School
Valedictorian: Saniya Amari Black
Salutatorian: Makayla Ajene’ Nabor

All of the graduations featured dynamic, alumni speakers including:
Shay O’Connor, Eleanor McMain ‘07, – WDSU – TV Reporter; Rachael Johnson, McDonogh 35 ‘94, – Judge, Division D, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit and Edward Buckles Jr., Edna Karr ’10 – Filmmaker and Director.

Support GiveNOLA Day by donating to local organizations across the city (sponsored)

As proud New Orleanians, we are thrilled to share with you all about GiveNOLA Day. This annual event is a day dedicated to giving back to the community and supporting local non-profit organizations that work tirelessly to make our city a better place. Today, GiveNOLA Day will be in full swing, and we encourage everyone to donate what they can to support these organizations. From education to healthcare, to the arts and culture, there are so many fantastic non-profits that rely on donations to keep their doors open and to continue their important work. This year, GiveNOLA Day is especially important as our city continues to recover from the challenges of the past year.

Viewpoint: Citizens weigh in on picking a police chief

The International Association of Chiefs of Police has been conducting meetings across New Orleans this week to receive public comment on what citizens want to see in their next police Chief. NOLA Messenger queried more than a dozen residents to get their ideas of what attributes and policy directives are most important. The responses were wide-ranging and touched on many areas. 

“We need a Police Chief who is committed and laser focused on New Orleans with a clear vision of what is needed. He or she also must to be able to express that vision and get the job done,” said Irma Muse Dixon, former chair of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. 

“Citizens have a strong desire for a police chief who represents change. A leader who is forward thinking and open minded when it comes to evolving within the current state of policing in society.

Rich’s Wash Dat: Cleaner car means a clearer mind (sponsored)

When your car is cleaner, your mind is clearer. Having a cleaner car reduces stress, and Rich’s Wash Dat is here to help by offering unlimited plans at everyone’s budget. Convenient locations in the Earhart, Gentilly, Algiers, and Kenner areas offer top quality washes with premium add-ons to ensure the longevity of your car/truck lasts. Take care of your car and your stress level, with free vacuums and air fresheners (when available), all while supporting a locally owned and operated family business. New Orleans locals can spend an unexpectedly large amount of time in their cars, and our personal spaces can frequently amass junk, especially during festival season. It’s a common result of owning a car, from boxes in the trunk, food wrappers on the floor, Mardi Gras throws, to endless water bottles, it happens to all of us.

Here’s why Unique Nola Ghost Tours are a great way to see New Orleans (sponsored)

New Orleans is a fantastic city full of great history and culture, and very walkable, with few hills. A guided walking tour of the city, particularly a ghost tour of New Orleans, is a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything! Unique NOLA Tours provides an immersive experience that allows guests to get up close and personal with New Orleans’ history. The Unique NOLA Tours Difference
Monique Hamilton and Christopher Falvey set out to create a business that gives New Orleans locals as well as tourists an experience that they won’t forget. Unique NOLA Tours was founded to fill the need for smaller, more intimate, and accurate ghost tours in New Orleans.

Christopher A. Etienne, Sr., Letters from a Father: Easter Sunday & Spring Renewal (sponsored)

Dear, Son:

Seeing your joy when we attend church and your good, spirited interactions with the church members is always excellent. I love to see you sing and clap your hands, as I do when the church choir is singing, or even say, “Amen”! after the pastor has finished praying. It’s truly a delight to see you enjoy Easter Sunday Service. As you’re learning, we as a people and country use the Holy Week to take a moment from our hectic lives for family, fellowship, friendship, prayer, and reflection.

NOLALove Spring Student Rally brings inspiration to New Orleans students (sponsored)

We had to do it again! We gathered students from our InspireNOLA schools and schools throughout the city of New Orleans to show the community just what we mean by #NOLALove! Our second NOLA Love Spring Student Rally was a day of inspiration and motivation for the students of New Orleans, and we were grateful to have motivational speaker Eric Thomas spark a fire in each of our students and remind them that YOU OWE YOU. This initiative, launched in October 2022, continues to be for our students and by our students and their vision for a safer, healthier, and more loving life in New Orleans. NOLALove is and will always be for our students, for our city, and for our future.

Maple Street Starbucks workers hold one-day strike over stalled negotiations

Workers at the Maple Street Starbucks took to the picket line last week for a one-day strike over stalled contract negotiations. When the Maple Street shop unionized in early June, it was part of a meteoric increase in unionized Starbucks across the U.S. After the first store unionized in Buffalo, New York, less than two years ago, 287 stores have successfully held union elections, while another 91 have held elections where the union did not garner enough votes to win. 

The striking Maple Street workers said Starbucks has refused to bargain with the union to establish a contract, which is why they decided to go on the one-day strike. They also said they want full staffing at the coffee shop. 

“We want to be met at the bargaining table and we want Starbucks to stop cutting labor,” one striker said. “We don’t have enough staff to keep up with growing demand at the store.”

As the workers and supporters gathered for the picket line on the sultry Wednesday morning (March 22), cars driving by honked their support. One friend of the organizers passed out bottled water and cups of vegetable soup. 

Rowan Bienes-Allen, sat by the storefront door with a laptop and a sign saying “Ask me about the strike.” So I did. As we spoke, she was asked to move by a manager wearing a Black history month shirt.

Christopher A. Etienne, Sr., Letters from a Father: Gratitude and Pride (sponsored)

Dear, Son:

My faith still is rewarded in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I am proud of your growth, development, and enthusiasm for learning. I have drawn from your youthful energy, and every day I reflect on what you display, which is good humor, courage, and idealism. If anything, you are intelligent and strong, but more importantly, you are kind, thoughtful, and full of passion. Of all that I’ve achieved, I am grateful to be your father.