Share Your Story: December 2020
The year 2020 will, no doubt, go down in the history books as one of the most turbulent, divisive, and heart-wrenching times our country and the world has faced. The typically jubilant sounds of the season – the ringing of Salvation Army bells, carols on every radio station and the hustle & bustle of holiday shoppers – haven’t been as uplifting this year with so many out of work due to the pandemic and no true relief in sight. But if we can quiet the noise and anxiety for a short time, we can get a glimpse of the real reason for the season and find hope for 2021.
As Event Source Professionals was planning its 30th Anniversary celebration in 2018, we were privileged to meet a truly gifted group of innovators behind the Dallas concept restaurant, Café Momentum. Consistently ranked among one of the top restaurants in Dallas since opening its doors in 2014, Café Momentum is so much more than another great Dallas eatery. Its leadership team embarked on a mission to establish a non-profit restaurant and culinary training facility that is changing lives, giving opportunity, and serving up hope to our community’s most at-risk youth who are looking for a second chance. They hire young men and young ladies exiting the Dallas County juvenile justice facilities and transform their lives by providing access to a built-in support system of case managers, psychologists, education coordinators and program directors who are all advocating, encouraging and addressing issues and barriers that have previously pushed the interns to a path of detention.
The results of Café Momentum’s program are rather astounding. The recidivism rate – the rate at which offenders commit other crimes after being released from incarceration – in the State of Texas is 43%. But for Café Momentum’s 1,000+ interns, it is only 15%.
And in May of this year, as the hospitality industry was decimated by the stop-gap measures taken to slow the spread of COVD-19, Café Momentum found a creative way to continue its mission. The Café Momentum Virtual Dinner series began. Since then, these dinners have been attended by the young men and women (past and present) of the Café Momentum program, as well as prominent change-makers in juvenile justice for open dialogue and personal connection through stories of perseverance and a drive for achieving one’s potential.
We applaud Café Momentum and the Momentum Advisory Collective for giving our world, our community, and our youth hope for a better tomorrow.
To find out more about Café Momentum and the Momentum Advisory Collective please visit https://cafemomentum.org/.