Until April 2017, New York was one of two states to automatically arrest and try kids as young as 16 as adults. Drive Change was founded because when young people leave jail/prison with felonies rather than juvenile adjudications they face immense barriers to employment/educational options. The road ahead is often paved with red-lights, stop-signs and dead ends. 70% of people under 24 who have been treated like adults in the criminal justice system will be re-intercepted by the system. Drive Change is a Fellowship opportunity that combines workplace experience and continued education to build skills, generate exposure, and infuse youth with a sense of self-worth.


Drive Change uses the food truck workplace to run a year long Fellowship to broaden access for young people (ages 17-25) returning home from adult jail/prison so they can obtain preferential employment and educational opportunities. 


Turn Red Lights Green

Our Theory of Change is built on principals that will broaden access to opportunity for court involved youth and lower the likelihood that someone will be re-intercepted by the system. The

  • Paid, quality employment experience
  • Transferable skill CTE curriculum that generates industry credentials
  • Empowerment through community/advocacy work and leadership development

The fellowship has three phases:

Training Phase - Fellows earn their Food Handler and Safety License (DOHMH Credential) and Mobile Vendor License (DOHMH Credential). They go through rigorous hospitality and culinary training performed by Drive Change coaches.

Employment Phase - Fellows work on our food truck in rotating jobs: Cashier, Head Chef, Customer Service Attendant, and Manager. Fellows attend professional lead courses in Social Media, Marketing, Money Management, and Small Business Development.

Internship Phase - Fellows work for four months in another work environment and are required to continue their professional development courses at Drive Change.

Our fellows learn to prepare and serve delicious, scratch-made meals with a side of social justice. Meals are prepared in our kitchen in Brooklyn and served off our award-winning food truck, all over New York City. Our food truck is the only truck that serves farm-fresh food made from scratch in NYC. We won the Vendy Cup for best food truck in NYC 2015.





New Leadership

Drive Change 2.0 Leadership Team


And introducing our new Fellows!!!!!!


Get to know the new Leadership staff! 


Chef Marq Hayes

6 Word Bio: Constantly Searching for the Ultimate Freedom

Role: Drive Change Executive Chef

Why am I the right person to fill this role?: I was born and raised in the South Bronx. I've always been cooking - just changed the medium from crack to croquettes...from cultivation to cuisine! Food is an art and a form of communication; it is healing and dynamic. I know tht we are going to blow the minds off of the culinary world in NYC and I cannot wait to captain the ship for the Fellows.

Anything else you want people to know: I am a painter


James Starks

6 Word Bio: Rewards and Contributions are Exactly Proportionate

Role: Fellowship Director As FD, I get a chance to shape the Drive Change experience of the fellows by speaking to their core values as well as cultivate & curate a curriculum that will allow the fellows to flourish individually within society.I am the perfect person for this role because of my humility and confidence and my ability to display them simultaneously.

In your own words, what is Drive Change 2.0?: DC 2.0 is a revolution on wheels! Desruptive by nature; we are building a collective of food businesses for social justice and redefining the way people view those who are system involved.

What food best describes your soul?: Margherita Pizza. It's made of minimal quality ingredients which are stellar individually, but when combined speaks to all positive emotions. Pizza makes everybody happy!

Anything else?: I am present



Jennifer Williams

6 Word Bio: Committed to Being of Service. Always.

Role: Chief HR&Operations (Chief of Peeps and Deets)

Why you?: I am the right person to fill this position because my years of work as an HR professional in Tech companies & a Communication Director for a Senator have gifted me with a... particular set of skills. ::smile:: The reinvention of how people regard and respond to HR is my mission, because 'Heart' belongs in business. My drive and commitment to the staff of Drive Change and the Fellows who allow us to work with them, will assist DC in getting to the next level.

What does Drive Change 2.0 have in store?: Drive Change will be responsible for the creation of continued nuanced conversation, mindfulness and high level engagement of returning citizens.

Food that describes your soul?: Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, because it's a new take on a classic. And that's me.

Last thoughts?: I am in awe of the support that the Drive Change community provides. Thank you for believing in what we do, and believing in the wonderful people that we do it for.