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


Our workforce development program begins with 50+ hours of paid ($10/hr) training following the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Restaurant Ready program, which covers personal responsibility, attitude, customer service and communication. Upon completion of this initial training program, youth are able to assist with catering and events. Interns are later eligible for additional promotions, which include higher pay rates and/or placement with an employment or educational partner.

Each intern receives individual case management to meet their unique needs. We maintain regular communication with each young person, their parent(s)/guardian(s), their school and/or employer and any necessary service providers (i.e. counseling, academic support, basic needs access, addictions & dependency support, etc.). Educational support takes several forms, including assisting interns with wrongful suspension and IEP meetings, providing tutors and mentors, and hosting college tours
Program Successes
In 2022, we successfully launched our mini-internship program, built capacity and enthusiasm to fund the forthcoming restaurant with pop-up dinners and catering events, and saw our first 27 young people achieve great things across our four cohorts, with a nearly 70% successful completion rate.

"It gave me a safe place to grow, and gave me opportunities that I didn't have before. It helped me manage my emotions and not make decisions off of temporary feelings-it allowed me to talk through things that have slowed me down and be able to move forward from them. And it always showed me that there are people out there who care about kids going down the wrong path and want to help them and get them to be their best selves."

"Cafe Momentum fully changed the momentum of my life. At the time I was 15, I was heading into a downward spiral, and Cafe came into my life and set me up with stability and a place to work in my hometown when they weren't even in my town."

Youth Development  - Youth Development, General/Other 
At-risk youth
Formerly incarcerated people & incarcerated people
Long-term Success
The long-term goal of Cafe Momentum Nashville is to decrease the number of youth lost to the cycle of incarceration and ensure that all justice-involved youth reach their full potential. Mid-term program outcomes will be measured by a post-program follow-up study implemented one year after the first cohort of interns completes the program, with the following expectations:

-90% of interns are employed
-80% of interns are enrolled in or have completed school
-90% of interns have an active bank account
-90% of interns have a government-issued ID
-90% of interns are in compliance with court orders
-10+ employers have active employment opportunities for our youth

The work of Cafe Momentum Nashville also targets a broader goal of impacting the conversation around youth justice nationally, and additional projected outcomes will center on media recognition and community engagement that produces positive action.
Short-term Success
In 2024, we expect:

-Engage 45-60 youth in programming
-80% will maintain or improve academic progress
-50% will improved life skills and/or self-efficacy scores after 50 hours of training
-80% will feel more prepared for a career in the restaurant industry
-80% will feel more confident communicating and advocating for themselves
-80% will feel more confident in managing a budget and their finances
-70% will feel more prepared to engage with new people
-80% will feel more prepared to engage in new opportunities

Program Success Monitored By
Cafe Momentum Nashville aims to increase (1) workforce development, (2) life skills, (3) social skills, and (4) educational attainment in justice-involved young people while (5) building capacity for the organization. We administer assessment tools prior to and following each cohort to measure youth outcomes related to education, mental health, financial literacy, and life skills. We also complete an annual evaluation to determine our overall impact. Evaluation tools include the Casey Life Skills Assessment, a generalized self-efficacy scale, and reports from parents and probation officers. We also have a relationship with Vanderbilt's Department of Human Development Counseling and are being advised by Maury Nation to better assess and align our qualitative outcomes with evidence informed/best practices.
Program Areas Served
Nashville, TN

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The difficulty of being a startup organization-especially in a pandemic-has proven to be our biggest challenge in developing Cafe Momentum Nashville. When we first began building out our team and foundation of support in Nashville, we quickly understood the desire of the local philanthropic community to first see the program impact before investing in the brick and mortar build-out of a restaurant and program.

Listening to this feedback, we launched the 8-week mini-internship program in January 2022 to showcase the program's efficacy and build community support. Given the success of this pilot program, we built out additional internship cohorts for 2022 paired with work opportunities for our interns through catering and monthly pop-up dinners.

Given the experience in Dallas, we are confident that we can build a strong case for support for Nashville youth. Cafe Momentum Dallas also utilized the pop-up strategy to begin working with young people, build community trust, and get off the ground, and they have maintained strong, consistent revenue streams since opening their doors in 2015.