Eighty percent of the 728,000 youth that enter the juvenile justice system each year are rearrested within three years. But Chef Chad Houser is helping to create a new blueprint for juvenile justice that offers teenagers hope and purpose.
His award-winning Dallas restaurant Cafe Momentum only employs justice-involved youth between the ages of 15 and 19. And it’s been wildly successful: 0% of youth completing the 12-month internship program are adjudicated or reconvicted, compared to the Texas state average of 11.8%.
But Cafe Momentum doesn’t measure success just by whether they keep kids out of jail — success for them is getting them on a path to growth, stability, and self-actualization. Thanks to the program’s success in Dallas, Houser now plans on expanding this model to 30 cities over the next decade.
It all comes down to Houser’s potent philosophy for change: Don’t be afraid to fail. Just never stop moving forward.