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Food Trucks Give a New Future to the Formerly Incarcerated

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A high school English teacher quit her job to run a food truck. But this isn’t an ordinary one, reports Upworthy.

What if we could help people who have been released from prison actually stay out of prison?

Jordyn Lexton, founder of a nonprofit called DriveChange, used to teach high school English to incarcerated 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds — all of whom were convicted as adults — at Rikers Island in New York. When she saw how bleak the future looked for them once they were released from prison, she decided to do something about it.

She left teaching behind and started the nonprofit. What makes the organization special is that it hires formerly incarcerated youth to operate the trucks, giving them an opportunity to earn money and gain job skills. Both of these things help keep people who have been incarcerated from returning to prison.

The Snowday food truck, Drive Change’s first, makes $15,000 a month.

The profits are put right back into Drive Change, which hopes to expand its operations to help more people. Drive Change’s eight employees, all of whom start at $11 an hour, operate the truck, selling food inspired by maple syrup. (Yum!)

Awesome, right?! This is a case of someone seeing a problem, coming up with a solution, and taking action.

“Our plan is hopefully to make this a national model … because unfortunately, there is not a shortage of formerly incarcerated youth across the country.”
— Drive Change head chef Roy Waterman

Read the entire Upworthy story here, or watch the video below to see how Drive Change is making a difference.

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

One response »

  1. Thx Shelley/ encouraging and inspiring to see how an idea becomes a reality… One step & one volunteer at a time. Nathalie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

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