Role Model

Nakita Angelle Shavers

Youth Empowerment Project

Annually since 1986, YLC has selected a class of outstanding New Orleanians who serve as Role Models by actively contributing to the betterment of the Greater New Orleans region. These individuals are an inspiration to YLC’s young professional members and to the community at large.

Nakita is a native of New Orleans and has a long history of community advocacy and education. As a graduate of McDonogh #35 Sr. High School and the New Orleans Center for Science and Math High School, she has always had the drive to make New Orleans a better place. She left New Orleans to pursue an impressive roster of degrees before returning to the city to make a lasting impact on the community. Nakita is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science Pre-law, a graduate of Walden University with a Master of Public Administration with a Specialization in Non-Profit Management & Leadership, a graduate of Loyola University’s Institute of Politics and a recent graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Executive Education. 

Nakita is the founder and executive director of the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund (DSEF), which provides programs and initiatives to promote youth empowerment, community development and enhanced educational opportunities in the city of New Orleans. Nakita is responsible for the conception and implementation of DSEF’s Music and Cultural Education Program, and GIRLS NOLA Initiative, in addition to many more efforts led by the organization. Nakita is also the Music and Arts Coordinator at the Youth Empowerment Project, where she is responsible for creating and developing all music and arts programming, while positively impacting the lives of Central City Youth. She is also co-founder of Silence Is Violence Anti-Violence Organization. 

In December of 2014, Nakita was chosen as a “Youth Champion” by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, joining a next-generation cohort of 22 youth leaders from the United States, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and India to champion the cause of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights nationally and internationally. As a Youth Champion, Nakita created GIRLS NOLA (Girls Initiative for Reproducing Leaders in Society), an arts-integrated sexual and reproductive health program in New Orleans that works to educate and empower young women to lead. Nakita has become an international voice for the Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights, adding the perspective of an African American female to the international conversation. Nakita has traveled to Bali, Copenhagen, Berlin, and throughout the United Nations to speak at international conferences surrounding reproductive health. 

Nakita personifies humanitarianism and philanthropy in everything that she does, and as a future politician, she is determined to fight for justice and equitable opportunities for all.

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