Community Action Café


The Program

The teen-led YELLS Community Action Café and Teen Center offers engaging and authentic academic, financial literacy, career development, and leadership experiences. As teens market and manage a working café open to all members of the community, they build on-the-ground business and entrepreneurial experience that further develops the skills and strengths they will need in college and beyond.

After a career-readiness boot camp, teens in our daily afterschool apprenticeship program work in Apprenticeship Teams focused on areas including marketing, operations, financial management, hospitality, community planning, and culinary arts. Community Action Café Teens experience the real-world challenges of running a business with the support of community leaders and volunteers. These professionals and expert trainers guide youth through workshops on business development, budgeting and financial management, marketing and strategic planning, customer service, and more.

The ambitious and innovative Community Action Café model positions teens as the architects of their community.


From left to right: CEO Destinee updates the Café calendar; Director of Hospitality Ashami welcomes guests at an open house; the Director of Marketing tracks customers; Executive Chef Emil speaks to guests; Ashama serves a customer.

The Café


Participating teens designed the logo for the Café.

The doors of the YELLS Community Action Café are open to the community, and our impressive YELLS teens are here to serve you. The trendy and inviting café provides a fully equipped computer and internet lab while serving as a welcoming, teen-led hub for community members to gather, learn, lead, and serve.

Franklin Gateway residents and supporters are invited to stop by, take a seat, have a sip, and enjoy the uplifting environment of the Community Action Café. This neighborhood hub offers everything residents need to hold a business meeting, catch up on work, relax with a book, or meet new friends and neighbors. At the Café, patrons can:

  • Enjoy delicious refreshments, including coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks
  • Check out a book from our growing leadership library
  • Attend engaging workshops and events like cooking classes, literacy events, a career fair, town hall meetings, open mic nights, and more

The Café is located in our Franklin Road space at 779 Franklin Road, Marietta, GA, and is open on weekdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m. View the teen-produced commercial below to learn more.

The Impact


Community Action Café teens network with Mayor Tumlin at a City Council meeting.

As YELLS launched the Community Action Café program, we learned that the original program site would be demolished as part of a redevelopment bond. Despite this setback, the Café has successfully launched in its new home, and in the last year 28 core YELLS teens have applied business and life skills as they engaged over 635 community members in 19 community-building initiatives, 9 of which they fully designed and executed.

Community Action Café teens have become leaders their communities and are reshaping perceptions of their neighborhood. They have been an important influence over the new identity and moniker for the Franklin Gateway neighborhood, and they continue to do the transformative community work that is the signature of YELLS. In the video below, YELLS teens explain the impact of the program in their own words.

At [the Community Action Café] we get people who sacrifice so much for us, and that motivates us to help those around us.

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