Garryelle Smooth, a Powerful Woman Indeed

“It felt like a family the day I walked in to fill my application.”

The year was 2012. Reconcile’s building needed renovation. Garryelle Smooth, a new Intern, needed hope. She and her mother entered the temporary building across the street to fill out an Intern Application. Immediately, she felt at home. 

Garryelle would complete the program and graduate in that temporary building. Her mother was sick on Graduation Day and unable to watch Garryelle receive her Reconcile diploma. In November of 2012, Garryelle’s mother passed away. The Smooth family needed us.

At that time, she was working at Fresh Bar and kept in touch with Onassis Jones, Reconcile’s longest tenured current employee, about other job opportunities.

“We didn’t have insurance at the time my mom passed away. Reconcile helped us with that. Mr. Onassis came to bring us meals and check in on us,” Garryelle said.

Garryelle has five siblings. As she worded it, “Bills still needed to be paid.”

Café Reconcile offered Garryelle a position as Trainer Advocate, formerly known as Graduate Trainer. From 2013 to 2017, Garryelle worked in the hospitality industry, honing her skills, interacting with people, building a future for her and her family.

Toward the end of 2017, a full-time barista position opened at The Roosevelt Hotel. They needed Garryelle to start immediately, and she did. Six months later, she moved to a new position in the hotel, the same job she works today. Today, Garreylle can be found as one of The Roosevelt’s Fountain Lounge’s best waitresses. Her work ethic proved that she could do anything she put her mind to, so in 2018, she graduated from Delgado Community College with an associate’s degree in Business Management and a concentration in Entrepreneurship.

Her hope for the next year is to earn her bachelor’s degree from UNO while she continues to support her family working at The Roosevelt Hotel.

This July, Reconcile honors Garryelle Smooth as our Powerful Woman in Fidelity Bank’s POWER PLATES initiative. She is not only a leader in the hospitality industry, but she also gives back to Reconcile by serving on the 2021 Board of Directors. Garryelle’s brother Fred said it best:

When I lost all hope, Garryelle was the inspiration that I needed. A great person, a great leader, and very positive. She played a major role in my life, and if I’m being honest, she is who’s to thank for me being the person I am today. If there’s a dark tunnel, Garryelle could shine light on it. If something is out of line, Garryelle could straighten it out. She’s filled with joy, creativity, love, prosperity, and happiness. Not only is she a powerful woman, but she is a powerful person. So I can’t think of another person that deserves this more than she does. – Fred Smooth, Garryelle’s brother

Enjoy a glass of Rose in the Cafe!

P.S. Fun Fact – Garryelle and her brother are also co-workers! You can see them in action at The Roosevelt Hotel’s Fountain Lounge working side by side.

What Makes a Trainer Advocate?

There’s always a coach in the corner.

It’s the one thing you can count on. No matter how big or strong your opponent may be, no matter the venue, one thing is constant — there’s always someone in your corner. In a similar way, there’s always someone in a Reconcile Intern’s corner. No matter how big or small of an obstacle, no matter the situation, or the amount of coaching needed to reach success, someone is there.

That person is the Trainer Advocate. 

The Trainer Advocate provides direct hospitality service training to program participants and customer service to guests. They demonstrate positive leadership characteristics with team members and program participants, specifically through the role modeling of Reconcile’s 8 Habits, to inspire a culture of excellence.

Trainer Advocates Juan Shelby and Ethan Williams

Juan Shelby and Ethan Williams are not just recognizable faces on the first floor of the Café. And they are not just “our favorite waiters when we eat at Café Reconcile.” They are outstanding Front-of-House Trainer Advocates. 

When you dine in the Café, you see Trainer Advocates in action, working alongside our Interns. Your donations make sure Juan, Ethan, and the whole team of trainers (7 total) are there for our young people — listening, teaching, and building confidence.

“I was always taught the E3 method — Execute Extraordinary Experiences. I’m not a server. I’m an experience creator. So, when we train the Interns, I encourage them to think that way. They’re more than just a person who brings food to a table. When we give them confidence, they can lift up themselves and create extraordinary experiences for our guests.”
Ethan, Trainer Advocate

By supporting Reconcile, you stand in the Interns’ corner as well.
You help us teach the confidence that creates extraordinary experiences.
And as always, you give us confidence to keep our mission alive and well.

Will you stand in Reconcile’s corner today?

Join us for Dinner!

Donor Appreciation Breakfast Pictures

THANK YOU for Donating on GiveNOLA Day!

Would you like a cup of Gumbo* for free? Join us in the cafe on GiveNOLA Day, May 7th!

Click here to donate to our GiveNOLA Day Campaign.

Together, we can help young people transform their lives. And on GiveNOLA Day, Tuesday, May 7, you can DOUBLE your impact, dollar-for-dollar, thanks to a matching gift from Scott Satterwhite!

  • Schedule your gift today by clicking here. (Starting May 1st)
  • Or donate on GiveNOLA Day
  • Create a Fundraiser on our behalf through the GiveNOLA portal here.
  • Together, we can transform lives by meeting our $75,000.00 goal.
  • Suggested text and other information on GiveNOLA Day here.

*Free Gumbo until the pot runs out!

At Café Reconcile, YOU are Building Hope and Changing Lives for New Orleans most vulnerable youth.

And for that, we are grateful.

Since opening in 2000 as a grassroots cafeteria, donors like YOU have transformed more than 1,800 young people’s lives through eight weeks of Café Reconcile’s signature workforce training program.

YOU are building hope.

But that’s not all that YOU do.

YOU change lives through alumni support services.

With your support, our doors remain open to hundreds of alumni each year who need coaching to remain connected to employment and resources. . .

. . . because everyone needs a little help to make their dreams come true.

And, that’s the magic of our program.

But, the work is not over AND need is great right now. Thousands of young people throughout the Greater New Orleans region are unemployed and not in school. Thousands needing YOUR support.

Join us for lunch (Free Gumbo!) on GiveNOLA Day and make your donation!


Class 6 of 2018 and Class 1 of 2019 Graduation

Calling All Champions for Youth

Now Hiring: Server/Trainer

Reports to: Captain Lead Floor Trainer


Reconcile New Orleans’ (RNO) mission is to transform the lives of young people and the community through the ministry of reconciliation. We do this by: encouraging personal growth, providing workforce development and training, promoting entrepreneurship, working with businesses, nonprofits and people of faith to support this transformation and building strong communities through community economic development.

Reconcile welcomes six classes of students a year.  Each class has 15-25 young people ages 16-24 years old.  All are disconnected from work and/or school.  Reconcile’s mission is to help each young person overcome barriers in their lives that are making the connection to a job and/or school difficult.

The Trainer/Serveracts as the direct coach for the students during their six-week rotation in the Cafe Front of House.  Emphasis of training includes soft skills based upon the Reconcile Eight Habits of Success as well as hard skills around standard restaurant service and On the Job Training. All of this training takes place in the real time of a working Cafe during a busy rush hour while customers are served lunch.

Daily/Ongoing Responsibilities

Education/System Usage:

  • Utilize morning and afternoon Check in/ evaluation of assigned student on check lists and laptop
  • Demonstrate/Coach Checklists and Operational Forms
  • Demonstrate/Coach Service techniques
  • Demonstrate/Coach operation of POS system

Utilizing and Teaching the 8 Habits of Success (The Soft Skills:)

  • Be on time
  • Be present all day every day
  • Accept and follow direction
  • Work well with others even when its difficult
  • Have a positive not a negative attitude towards the work
  • Take care of your personal appearance everyday
  • Get things done in the expected time
  • Do a quality job in each and every task

Life Skills Mentoring/ Development :

  • Once per week attendance at morning breakfast/ Word of the Day (8:30-9:00) to interact with current students
  • Attendance at bi-weekly one hour Professional Development sessions to improve soft skill mentoring
  • Attend YPQI (Youth Program Quality Initiative) sessions as scheduled
  • Attend Why Try classes with students as assigned to promote community

Financial Control/ Donations

  • Demonstrate how this position impacts overall Sales and Profitability
  • Explain the importance of being a good steward of Café Reconcile
  • Show how specific products/ tasks impact Finances
  • Teach the importance soliciting donations at our non-profit organization

Specific Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Coaching Students in the assigned area to conduct proper operating procedures
  • Ensure opening/ongoing and closing procedures for Service area are completed correctly
  • Serving guests during service hours
  • Maintain Food Safety Guidelines
  • Maintain daily operating procedures, checklists and duties
  • Maintain a fun learning environment
  • Be a positive coach and mentor


  • The most important qualification is a deep and genuine desire to help RNO meet its mission of helping young people, age 16-24 and disconnected from work and school, transform their lives with the support of the Reconcile staff.
  • Experience in training with youth preferred.
  • Experience in restaurant operations preferred.  Front of the House knowledge a plus.
  • High School Diploma or equivalent required.  College degree a plus.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications.
  • Previous track record of consistently exceeding guest expectations and have an uncompromising approach to service and follow through.
  • Demonstrated passion for hospitality industry.
  • Ability to put student first and self last.
  • An understanding that personal life experiences may not inform the work.
  • Ability to proactively communicate with peers and supervisors, especially around difficult conversations.
  • Ready, willing, and excited to learn new things, have new experiences, and have traditional thinking challenged.
  • Open to feedback and willing to immediately implement feedback.
  • Strong ability to manage emotions in what is sometimes a highly emotional work environment.
  • Prepared to always assume the best of coworkers and students.
  • An understanding and recognition of how structural racism affects and impacts the daily lives and job search for Reconcile students.
  • A deep commitment to social justice.
  • An understanding of the difference between equity and equality and how both might affect Reconcile students.
  • At times, a flexible work schedule may be required to include nights, weekends and holidays.  The regular expected training shift is Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm.


This position will pay an industry-competitive hourly wage with tips.  Starting rate is $7.25 per hour plus tips – with opportunities for merit-based increases at 90-days employment, six months and annually.  Cafe Reconcile also offers paid holidays that fall on regularly scheduled work days.

To apply: send resume and cover letter to