2015 Fellow, Black Male Achievement Fellowship
Founder of Drive Change
Jordyn Lexton 2015 Fellow, Black Male Achievement Fellowship
Reduce recidivism and increase job-readiness for formerly incarcerated youth by using food trucks to employ and teach transferable job and leadership skills to young people leaving the adult criminal justice system.
Drive Change builds and operates state-of-the art food trucks that hire and empower formerly incarcerated youth, ages sixteen through twenty-five. Drive Change uses the food truck industry to provide quality employment and teach transferable skill learning to young people returning home from adult jail or prison so they can access opportunity and live crime-free, bright futures. Drive Change’s six-to-eight month transitional jobs re-entry program works with approximately thirty young people annually (by way of their award winning Snowday Food Truck). Drive Change’s plan is to build a food truck commissary where other like-minded businesses will park, receive industry benefits, and hire young people out of the program. This commissary will allow Drive Change to create a fleet of food trucks for social justice and expand the program to over 100 people per year. After proving the commissary infrastructure model, Drive Change plans to scale it to other cities in order to turn more red lights green for young people returning home.
Jordyn is the founder and executive director of Drive Change. Jordyn started their career as a teacher, and taught for three years at the NYC DOE public high school inside of the jail complex on Rikers Island. Jordyn is a native New Yorker, but it was only while teaching on Rikers that Jordyn learned New York is one of two states that automatically arrests and prosecutes sixteen year olds like adults. Jordyn witnessed the abusive nature of the criminal justice system and Jordyn's students’ struggle to find meaningful employment post-release. Motivated by the way kids inside of the culinary arts class on Rikers possessed a sense of purpose and pride, Jordyn dug into their own belief in the power of a shared meal and started Drive Change. Jordyn and Drive Change have been recognized by NBC, Melissa Harris Perry, Edible, The Chew, The Vendy Awards, Yahoo Foods and others. Jordyn is a former Ashoka Leadership Bootcamp Fellow (2014), An 'Agent of Change,' and Milan Food Expo 2015 USA Pavilion Advisory Board Member. Jordyn holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a MA in Teaching from Pace University.
- Fellow, Black Male Achievement Fellowship
- Poverty Alleviation & Economic Development
- North America
- United States
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