Feeding Positivity to Our Community: Positivity Propellers with Café Momentum
Who Are Positivity Propellers?
Positivity Propellers are on a mission to make the world a better place. Positivity Propellers lift our spirits and give us hope. Positivity Propellers inspire us with their ideas, offering us inspiration to create our own make-the-world-better mission. Positivity Propellers provide a tangible positive “spark" in a world that can seem relentlessly negative. Positivity Propellers are intent on doing “the right thing” because it IS the right thing to do, without regard to fame. Positivity Propellers renew our faith in the goodness of humanity. We don’t say it often enough, but not only do we need to be grateful to them, we need to bring them and their good works to the forefront. At Positive On Purpose, I am passionate about sharing their dynamic, life-lifting stories with you.
In 2008, Chad Houser was the co-owner of a successful restaurant and had been nominated as the best up-and-coming chef in Dallas. At that time, he had the opportunity to teach eight young men in juvenile detention how to make ice cream – and that experience struck him to his core. “I witnessed firsthand just how much the current model for juvenile justice is designed to negatively affect our youth. Rather than building a better system, we are trying the same thing over and over again. I realized that I wanted to open a restaurant – and I wanted to let these kids run it.”
The secret behind Café Momentum’s success is the Momentum model for juvenile justice. The Momentum model offers an ecosystem of support, including educational and financial literacy, paid workforce development training, life skills and social skills training. Because of this wraparound support, interns can build strong foundations to get their education back on track and gain financial stability.
Café Momentum’s success in Dallas has transformed the lives of justice-involved youth and every customer that eats at their restaurant. As interns interact with the customers, bridges are created and mutual respect is built.
Café Momentum serves a unique recipe for success: The interns defy the odds and stay out of the criminal justice system as they move forward with their lives. Diners receive exceptional customer service and award-winning meals and can experience each intern’s capabilities and dignity firsthand.
CAFÉ MOMENTUM'S SUCCESS STORY
0% of youth completing the 12-month internship program adjudicated or reconvicted — compared to Texas state average of 11.8%
88.89% were enrolled in high school, had graduated, or achieved GED
85.18% completed or were in compliance with any court orders
100% had a bank account enabling future ability to finance or receive credit — compared to the 25% who have a bank account upon entering the program
77% are voluntarily receiving counseling — 100% of the interns entering our program had at least one Adverse Childhood Experience in their history
Café Momentum is changing the approach to juvenile justice...one meal at a time.
A restaurant that is equal parts dining room and classroom: While Interns are working on providing thoughtful dishes with top-notch service, they’re also learning that they can (and will) rise to whatever level of expectation is set for them. While you’re enjoying the results of their hard work and determination, you’re also sending them a message that you believe in them. The Café Momentum experience proves that something as simple as breaking bread can change the lives of our community’s most marginalized youth.
Want to support the mission of Café Momentum? Here are some ways to make an impact:
If you find yourself in Dallas, Nashville, or Pittsburgh, enjoy a dining experience like no other...thoughtful dishes
& top-notch service.
Is there someone the rest of us should know about? We want to feature them. POSITIVITY PROPELLERS is going to become a regular feature because:
+ These are the people who should be making our news.
+ These are the people whose “headlines” are about mission rather than sensational marquee value.
+ These are the people who inspire our belief in the basic and beautiful goodness going on all around us, in our everyday lives.
+ These are the people who prove that there really are angels in our midst.
Don’t you agree? Join me in seeking them out.
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