Division of Juvenile Justice, Rehabilitation

DJJ youth volunteer at LA Rams charity lunch

Football team mascot and two cheerleaders flank five youth.
Five youth from VYCF learned how to be servers during a charity luncheon. They also met football players, the team mascot and a few cheerleaders.

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility assists Café Momentum

By Tony Chavez and Karette Fussell

Five youth from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (or VYCF) were volunteer food servers for more than 800 participants at the annual LA Rams Kick off for Charity Luncheon presented by UNIFY for the Los Angeles Rams to help raise money for programs sponsored by the Los Angeles Rams Organization.

Football player and five youth wearing matching outfits.
The youth met LA Rams defensive player Aaron Donald.

The charity luncheon was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles on Aug. 28.

The youth worked with Dallas-based Chef Chad Houser, owner of Café Momentum. For the luncheon, the youth were taught serving skills.

Café Momentum’s youth training curriculum provides a 12-month food service intern training program for formerly incarcerated youth.

VYCF youth were provided a golden opportunity to participate in the Café Momentum experience. The event was documented by the NFL Network with the youth being interviewed by NFL 360 host Jeff Chadiha.

Future collaborations will involve opportunities for youth to be taught more specialized culinary skills in order to actually prepare and serve a meal.

The youth had a chance to meet the NFC champion Rams and had photos taken with star running back Todd Gurley and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. The youth were introduced and were greeted with a standing ovation by the capacity luncheon crowd that included the entire 2019 Los Angeles Rams roster.

Future plans are to double down on participation when 10 VYCF youth will be servers in an upcoming “pop-up dinner” sponsored by Café Momentum to be held in Los Angeles in late September.

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Five youth in matching outfits stand with men and woman in business attire.
VCYF youth pose for photos with organizers of the charity luncheon. The youth volunteered as food servers during the event.