A Teenage Father Turning His Life Around

Season 1
Aired on 12/10/2016 | CC tv-14
Chef Chad Houser is changing lives at Café Momentum, his Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training facility. By giving internships to at-risk youth who have spent time in juvenile facilities, he offers opportunity and hope to young men and women who might otherwise find themselves back on the streets.

Tony Mitchell is one of the hardworking interns at Café Momentum. He's learning all aspects of the restaurant business, from washing dishes to preparing gourmet meals. The experience is preparing him for a future career in the hospitality industry—something he never dreamed of before.

Tony says that before he came to Café Momentum, he was living a "life of drugs, sex and violence." In fact, he says, he became a father at the tender age of 13. "That was a big surprise and a big change for me. Like, I was 13 years old—I'm barely out of middle school, you know. I don't know anything about being a father."

Here, Tony opens up about his unstable childhood and how meeting positive male role models like Chad has helped change the trajectory of his life.

OWN's uplifting docuseries The Hero Effect brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who are making extraordinary differences in their communities. It airs monthly on Saturdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT.