Cafe Momentum Nashville Corporation
615-594-6186 ext. 6155946186
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4636 Lebanon Pike #168
Hermitage, TN 37076
Organization Details



Cafe Momentum Nashville's mission is to transform young lives by equipping justice-involved youth with life skills, education, and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential.


Cafe Momentum Nashville got its start at Cafe Momentum Dallas, a restaurant and culinary training program founded in 2015 to serve youth exiting detention facilities. The Momentum Model breaks stereotypes, builds advocacy, and creates opportunity for youth through paid culinary workforce development. Feasibility for Nashville began in 2019, and in 2021 our founding Executive Director was hired and Cafe Momentum Nashville was established. In 2022 we introduced a shortened version (8-10 weeks) of the twelve-month internship, which was extended in 2023 to a tiered program through which interns complete a paid training program and are promoted into culinary work opportunities.


Cafe Momentum Nashville breaks stereotypes, builds advocacy, and creates opportunity for justice-impacted youth through a paid culinary workforce development program. Wraparound support for each intern includes assistance with basic food and housing needs, access to healthcare, counseling, and extensive education support. We also provide ongoing case management for each intern, maintaining regular communication with each young person, their parent(s) or guardian(s), their school and/or employer and any necessary service providers.

Cafe Momentum Nashville works with youth aged 15-19 who have had some form of justice system involvement - e.g., truancy, ISS, expulsion, detention center, group home, probation. We began an eight-week mini-internship program in January 2022. In 2023, with the growth of our catering efforts, we began expanding the program into a tiered model that provides work opportunity and support for interns through age 19. Interns now complete their initial eight weeks of paid training and are promoted into higher paid work opportunities in support of our catering and events. Interns are later eligible for additional promotions, which include higher pay rates and/or placement with an external employment partner. We continue to provide case management for the young people through all tiers, and we provide support for employment partners to ensure a mutually-beneficial relationship with the business and any young people they employ. A primary goal of this work is to create a full ecosystem of support for each young person - the sort of ecosystem that all young people need to thrive.


1. We are fundraising to support our 2024 internship program, providing our youth with uniforms, meals, assistance with transportation to and from the program, along with the vital living wages for their work at catering services and pop-up dinners.
2. Funds are needed to support operational and capacity building costs such as critical staffing to assist with intern case management, build our partnership pipeline, and more to expand our capacity to serve youth.
3. We rely on community partnerships to help connect us to a pipeline of youth and to help us resource them with an ecosystem of support to meet their individual needs, including medical, mental health, financial literacy, and education support and accountability needs. Partner referrals and introductions help us better support our youth.
4. We seek to reform the juvenile justice system in Nashville and across the US. Racial disparities keep the crisis out of view for too many groups not impacted by systems of oppression. This hinders the ability to build broad movements for meaningful reform. Having supporters use their platform to discuss our work would make a meaningful difference in terms of exposure and advocacy for justice-involved youth.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Youth Development  - Youth Development Programs 
Secondary Category: Employment  - Job Training 
Tertiary Category: -

Areas Served

TN - Davidson