Cafe Momentum would like to wish you all a wonderful and joyous holiday season with your family and friends. It seems like a perfect time to reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for in our lives and to consider those less fortunate. Over the next 40 days of holiday festivities, please take a moment to consider an end-of-year gift to change the trajectory of the young lives served through the Cafe Momentum program. Your gift means so much to so many. Thank you and Happy Holidays from Cafe Momentum!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jef Tingley
(469) 235-6396 cell
Café Momentum Selected as Grant Recipient of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in North Texas to Career Opportunities
The new $3 million Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, supports innovative city programs that prepare low-income youth for future success
DALLAS (August 26, 2015) – The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance today announced that Café Momentum has been selected as a recipient of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs connecting youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them for lifelong success.
The Youth Opportunity Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, designed to support direct-service programs that empower urban youth, ages 16 to 24. A total of 12 grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in 10 of the largest U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Café Momentum will receive a one-year grant totaling $250,000 to help young people. More than 6,500 youth enter the Dallas County Juvenile system each year. Upon release, youth often return to the community with insufficient social and life skills. Café Momentum is a restaurant and culinary training facility that transforms young lives by equipping the Dallas community’s most at-risk youth with life skills, education and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential. Through a partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department and support from the Youth Opportunity Fund, 250 adjudicated youth will learn life and leadership skills through various programs. Many will participate in a 13-week life and leadership skills course and transition into paid internships. They will rotate through every aspect of the restaurant industry, working side-by-side with established chefs while learning culinary and social skills and earning a livable wage. Participants will receive continued mentoring and support to foster successful re-entry into the community.
“Café Momentum runs innovative, proven programs that equip Dallas’ young adults with important life skills and employment opportunities,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “Working in partnership with Café Momentum, the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, we will provide training that will better prepare more low-income youth in Dallas for academic and career success.”
“We are pleased to partner with Café Momentum, America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation to help many of the underserved youth in our community train for and find good jobs and careers,” said Dallas County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Dr. Terry Smith. “We’re eager to work together to help more young adults build a stronger foundation for academic and career success.”
The Fund supports programs that address youth unemployment through partnerships with municipal governments and collaborations across industries that are core to the economies of the Pathways to Progress cities, including IT, tech, healthcare, the service industry and environmental sustainability. Grantees will collaborate and share best practices on the most effective ways to expand and connect youth to economic opportunity in their communities.
“The future competitiveness of America’s cities hinges on the positive economic outcomes of our young people,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We launched the Youth Opportunity Fund to support the innovative work of community partners who are helping low-income youth create the on-ramps that will lead towards career success.”
“We are dealing with the mixed reality of our nation’s high school graduation numbers increasing at unprecedented rates, while an estimated 5.6 million young people are not in school or employed,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “The dozen Youth Opportunity Fund grantees are vital to connecting thousands of young people to opportunities that boost their ability to compete in today’s economy.”
In its first year, nearly 25,000 young people have been impacted by the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, a three-year, $50 million commitment to give 100,000 low-income youth in the U.S. the opportunity to develop the workplace skills and leadership experience necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. The initiative includes national organizations such as the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Points of Light, AmeriCorps, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, iMentor and the Cities for Financial Empowerment.
To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of grantees visit: www.americaspromise.org/youthopportunityfund.
About Café Momentum
Café Momentum is a restaurant training platform that provides post-release paid internships for juvenile offenders through which they will receive intensive culinary, job, and life-skill training as well as continued mentoring and support to foster successful re-entry into the community. In addition to significantly reducing recidivism, Café Momentum creates opportunities for long-term, sustainable (legal) employment for a demographic that would otherwise continue to burden the justice system and taxpayers. The restaurant is located at 1510 Pacific Ave. at Akard on Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas and serves dinner Thursday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information call (214) 303-1234 or go to www.cafemomentum.org. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cafemomentum or Twitter and Instagram using the handle @cafemomentum.
About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce. For more information, visit www.americaspromise.org.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.