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This Dallas restaurant is a favorite among foodies. The secret sauce? Its unique staff.

'I was betting my entire career on taking kids out of jail and teaching ‘em to play with knives and fire.'

This Dallas restaurant is a favorite among foodies. The secret sauce? Its unique staff.
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Starbucks Upstanders Season 2

Before 18-year-old Dayton Swift was cooking at one of the hottest restaurants in Dallas, he was in a juvenile detention facility.

Swift became homeless at the age of 15, and as a result, he started to commit felonies — a common pattern for people trying to get off the streets.

"I had to steal. I had to kick into people’s houses," Swift recalls. "I then got up to points where I had to rob people."


Sure enough, he wound up in juvenile detention along with a number of other adolescents who found themselves in the same cycle. However, thanks to chef Chad Houser and his restaurant Café Momentum, Swift was given a chance to escape that cycle through a passion he didn't even know he had.

Dayton Swift at Café Momentum. All photos provided by Starbucks.

Café Momentum is both a restaurant and culinary training facility for former juvenile offenders.

Houser, who now owns Momentum, was once co-owner of the popular Parigi Restaurant and winning a number of accolades when an experience at a juvenile facility took him in an entirely new culinary direction.

He was there teaching the kids how to make ice cream for an upcoming ice cream competition, and he immediately recognized incredible talent in one of them. Simultaneously, he realized that when the boy was released, he'd be heading back to the same neighborhood that had led him to a life of crime.

Houser decided to pivot his successful cooking career toward an endeavor that would give juvenile offenders a shot at living a better life.

Houser teaching his interns.

"I was betting my entire career on taking kids out of jail and teaching ‘em to play with knives and fire," Houser jokes.

The 12-month internship program not only teaches former juvenile offenders how to work in a restaurant, it offers mentorship, job, and life-skill training. It also provides them with an encouraging environment while they're readjusting to life outside a juvenile facility. For Swift, that's one of the best aspects of Momentum.

"It’s a family. I feel like I have the worst day and I can come in here and be crying and like broken down to tears, and they can help me and lift me up," Swift says.

Swift in the restaurant.

The restaurant began as a series of pop-up dinners in 2012 and finally put down brick-and-mortar roots in 2015. It's been a hit with the food-obsessed Dallas clientele ever since.

Beyond making good food, the restaurant is providing stability for its students and keeping them from reoffending.

One of the interns at Café Momentum

While a large percentage of juvenile offenders in Texas wind up in jail, Café Momentum's reduced the rate for its interns to 15%. It just goes to show how life-changing the offer of a different path can be.

Obviously it's made all the difference to Swift.

"I started realizing, like, dang — I love this," Swift says. "Even though I get burns and grease marks from all the cooking, I just love. I love it."

Success stories like Swift's are why Houser believes Momentum's mission could have a lasting effect on Dallas as a whole.

"We have kids who aren’t just providing stabilization for themselves but for their entire household. That’s breaking generational cycles, which becomes transformative for our community and our society."

Learn more about Café Momentum's work here:

He’s teaching these young people skills that will make them want to stay out of juvenile detention.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, October 10, 2017
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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