Zurich honors Café Reconcile with Community Impact Award

Zurich Classic of New Orleans recognized Café Reconcile for their continuous mission of building hope and changing lives. Over the years, Reconcile has helped over 2,000 graduates build a promising foundation through hospitality and culinary skills that are beneficial in their careers and personal development.  Zurich noted ” That exponential positive impact is why Zurich is honoring Café Reconcile with the 2022 Zurich Classic Community Impact Award, which includes a $30,000 contribution that the nonprofit can use for any needs. The award is presented as part of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans PGA TOUR event festivities.”

Please click here to learn more about Zurich’s presentation of the Community Impact Award to Café Reconcile.

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

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

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