PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO FURTHER THEIR SOCIAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE POWER OF WORK.

The US has the highest rate of incarcerated people in the world and for decades NYS was one of only two states to prosecute 16 year olds as adults.  Upon release, these young people face barriers to employment, and aren’t prepared to succeed or grow professionally. Imprisonment has lifelong consequences, and youth that have been incarcerated have a 70% chance of being rearrested within 5 years.

At Drive Change, our mission is to equip young people with the tools to succeed in the food service industry and become leaders in their community. We run an 8-month paid-fellowship for 18-25 year olds, to train them in culinary arts, place them into living wage jobs, and hold our hospitality partners accountable to providing a workplace experience that is fair, supportive and equitable. 

While the hospitality sector has the potential to be an opportunity for our youth, Drive Change recognizes that the annual turnover rate for entry level employees in the US hospitality sector is 73.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics), with 6% of employees quitting every month. Therefore, Drive Change challenges the hospitality industry to hire, train, and retain qualified young people and provide workplaces that are equitable and supportive.

To support this demand for culture change, we provide training, coaching, and direction to the leaders of our Hospitality for Social Justice restaurant network, focusing on unconscious biases, identity and privilege. 




WE NEED TO RETHINK OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

 
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Until October 2018, New York was one of only two states to automatically arrest and prosecute 16-year-olds as adults. 

 
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Our criminal justice system has roots in slavery and is designed to structurally oppress poor people of color.

 
 
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Young people who are treated as adults in the criminal justice system face harsh conditions. Upon release, they confront hurdles to employment and education.

 

 
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70% of people under 24 who have been treated as adults in the criminal justice system will return to prison in their lifetime.