Nashville teens with troubled pasts cook for, serve NFL stars, Draft prospects

NFL Draft

A group of teens who have had some trouble in the past proved their past will not dictate their future. The teens prepared, cooked and served NFL stars, MVPs and draft picks a three-course, five-star meal Wednesday night.  

While it usually takes more than two days to train fine dining servers and chefs, the teenagers only needed two days of training at Nashville’s Juvenile Justice Center.  

The students were mostly recruited from the R.E.A.L. program from the Oasis Center.

They also came from the G.A.N.G program and juvenile detention. The teens were chosen to work the dinner and made money doing it.  

17-year-old Raceme Crutcher was one of those serving the likes of Shaun Alexander and Dabo Sweeney. 

“This feels like what I’m supposed to be doing. It feels like it really goes with my life,” said Crutcher. 

The dinner was the brainchild of Chad House from Cafe Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant that employs and trains children in the juvenile justice system.  

Cafe Momentum is eyeing Nashville for its expansion plans. With the NFL Draft in town, the league helped support the dinner Wednesday. 

“If this were a medical issue, we’d call it an epidemic, but we don’t talk about it and having the NFL using their platform to talk about it can only do good things and create a lot of advocacy for these kids,” Houser told News 2. 

Teens like Crutcher hope the program finds a permanent home in Music City so that more kids can take away the life lessons they have.  

“It don’t really matter what we go through as long as we get our mindset to what we want to do,” Crutcher told News 2. “If we keep our persistence with everything we do, everything will turn out alright. There’s nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it.” 

Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway also helped facilitate and support the dinner. 

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