President Obama Names Stl Youth Jobs Participant “Champion of Change”

Emmanuel Haynes named a “Champion of Change.”

September 26, 2013 | 2 min reading time

This article is 9 years old. It was published on September 26, 2013.


Months of hard work are paying off for Emmanuel Haynes. Today, Haynes is at the White House, receiving a top honor for his work in the Stl Youth Jobs program from President Barack Obama.

Named a “Champion of Change,” Haynes, a Carnahan High School of the Future senior, is one of only nine individuals and organizations to receive the award.

Haynes spent the summer at Ronald Jones Funeral Chapels, serving as a funeral director. His experiences as a funeral director, orchestrated through Stl Youth Jobs, allowed him to work in his desired future profession and gain valuable work experience along the way.

“Meaningful employment is an immediate response to the need to provide youth with constructive ways to increase academic success, develop workplace skills, and spend their time in ways that reduce behaviors that can lead to youth violence and criminal activity,” said Mayor Francis Slay. “We are all so very proud of Emmanuel and his fellow youth for their dedication and hard work this summer.”

This was the first summer for Stl Youth Jobs, a pilot program led by the Incarnate Word Foundation, to employ youth ages 16-23 from high-risk neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis. The idea was born out of the Regional Task Force on Youth Violence Prevention.

“This program would not have had such success without the help of many of our community and business partners,” said Mayor Slay. “Bridget Flood at the Incarnate Word Foundation not only led the charge, but also supported Emmanuel so that he was able to travel to the White House for this incredible honor.”

Today, the President is highlighting the top nine individuals and organizations from across the country that played a key role in the White House’s Youth Jobs+ program as “Champions of Change.”  Haynes is among the youth honorees which were impacted by the Youth Jobs+ program. Other honorees include non-profit and faith organizations that were particularly innovative and effective in answering the Administration’s call to action in working with local officials and helping to develop the discipline and skills associated with employment for our youth.

“The work of these individuals and organizations has been vital in promoting youth employment, creating jobs, and providing young people with the skills they need to be successful” said Danielle Gray, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary. “Following on the President’s call to action, these ‘Champions of Change’ have helped connect young people with jobs and skills, creating opportunities in communities across this country.”

According to the White House, the Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses, and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. 

To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and the Champions the White House will be recognizing, visit  To learn more about the White House Youth Jobs+ initiative, visit

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