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.
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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.