I think there is some consensus that we can all share. The world is not fair. We could spend hours arguing the reasons for this unfair playing field or why it seems some people get a leg up in life. These are good questions to be thinking about. But they do not always lead us to answers, a solution, or even a small action of change.

Walking into Curt’s Café is like walking into many other coffee shops. I ordered my coffee, got a scone, and pretended to work. It was a very typical experience, though there was something much greater happening around me.

Curt’s Café offers at risk youth in Evanston a place of hope, giving them an opportunity to learn valuable, employable skills. Formally incarcerated individuals have little opportunity of employment. It is not new information that when applying for a job they ask if you have a criminal record. Unfortunately, checking the ‘yes’ box on an application minimizes the opportunity of employment.

“We all pay the price for such recidivism: it costs more (and taxpayers foot the bill) to send a teenager to a correctional institution than it does to put them through Northwestern University. For our sake and theirs, it makes sense to direct these young people toward a secure and productive future, where they can contribute to their community instead of undermining it. “ -Curt’s Café


Visit http://curtscafe.org/our-program/ to lean more about all the ways Curt’s Café is making a change in the community and how you can get involved.