Jordyn Lexton

New York, New York, USA

I am an educator, creative thinker and a doer. 

I have spent the better part of my time in the workforce working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth. 

I worked for three years as a teacher on Rikers Island, and to my dismay, witnessed a very broken and unjust system. New York is one of two states that automatically arrests 16 year olds as adults. The young men that I had for students (mostly 16 and 17 year olds) would leave adult jail with felony convictions. 

For my students, future opportunity by way of employment and/or education seemed bleak and too many of them would return to my classroom in jail. In fact, 70% of youth under 25 recidivate compared to 40% of the incarcerated population nationwide. 

I set out to develop a social enterprise that would be self-sustaining and provide channels to opportunity for young people returning to the community from jail and prison. Additionally, I wanted educate the public on the campaign to raise the age of adult responsibility in New York. The concept of a fleet of food trucks, providing young people with employment and giving them concrete transferable skills in the form of certificate and licenses, emerged. 

Drive Change, a non-profit food-truck business and re-entry program, was born in concept about a year ago. We are now pending our 501c3 status and the first truck is under construction. We aim to be serving up justice, and delicious maple syrup inspired cuisine by the fall of 2013.

Drive Change

By: Jordyn Lexton

Drive Change turns red lights "green" by offering formerly incarcerated youth paid fellowships, teaching them transferable skills and preparing for re-entry to society through mentorship.