Fresh Start Focus
April 2019

" At OFS, I feel like the teachers and staff don't only focus on the students doing well but also on the ones NOT doing well."
- Rachel, OFS Youth

Read Rachel's  Youth
Reflection  Below

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our monthly newsletter.

Our Mission: Operation Fresh Start provides disconnected youth a path to self-sufficiency.
Operation Fresh Start's Grand Opening Success!

Whether it was their first exposure to Fresh Start or long time supporters, our brand new Education & Training Facility at 2670 Milwaukee Street saw close to
300 guests at the Grand Opening on April 11th!

The outpouring of support shown by the community was on full display with attendees marveling at the new space. Youth participants gave tours and showed first-hand what they do on a daily basis to get themselves on the path to self-sufficiency. 

We would like to thank those who attended and the community at large for believing in our youth and supporting their growth!

If you were unable to attend, check out the amazing news coverage our Grand Opening received!

If you would like more information on Operation Fresh Start's current and future programs, visit us at

To continue or start your support of future and current Fresh Start programs, click on the donate button below, or reach out to 


A new Strive team has started at Operation Fresh Start. This time, for Health Care!
OFS prepares young people for a variety of careers leading to self-sufficiency.

Did you know...that once a year Operation Fresh Start's Strive program collaborates with Madison College and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin to have a six-week Nursing Assistant program?  

Jasmine Banks, Strive Coordinator, describes the typical process in which Strive participants complete their program. "During those six-weeks, young people who have passed the eligibility requirements complete a combined 120 hours of class, lab and clinical.  Once all of that is complete, they take the state exam to become Certified Nursing Assistants."

As baby boomers retire, our population is getting older and the Nursing Field has shortages like so many other industries.  Healthcare is a solid career with many opportunities for growth and that is what I love about the Strive-Healthcare program.  Young people can become Certified Nursing Assistants and enjoy all of the many opportunities and growth available to them.

If you would like more information about Strive, please contact 
Jasmine Banks at or  608-235-5810.

OFS Youth Reflection

Rachel, OFS Youth
I've had some great successes in my life that I'm very proud of, especially my decision to come to OFS. I've also had some hard challenges, but I'm here to get my diploma, have a better future for myself, and prove people wrong who doubted me.

I was born in Madison WI. I don't have a good relationship with my family, but I have a brother that's two years old, and he's a blessing to my life. I can't remember much of my elementary school years. During my middle school years is when I started to notice that school wasn't for me. I had bad grades and I never passed any tests. 

Even though I knew school was hard for me, I still kept trying until I made it to high school. I was doing worse, I barely understood any of my classes. Reading and Social Studies were probably my biggest struggles, I would never do my homework and I didn't have any interest in any of my classes because I didn't get anything we were doing. That's what made me not want to go to class, which caused me to have truancy. When I first started truancy I filled in the forms, had my teachers sign them. I did that for about 1-2 months. Then I stopped doing them and they noticed but didn't say anything. So the message I got was "she doesn't care about school, so we don't care about her."

I usually don't like big changes in my life. I don't like talking to people, but it depends on who you are and what we're talking about. When I started OFS I was irritated by everything and everyone. I thought I wasn't going to make it, but somehow I started feeling the vibe. When I was in high school, I felt like the teachers and staff only focused on the students doing well.  At OFS, I feel like the teachers and staff don't only focus on the students doing well but also on the ones NOT doing well. 

Now I don't even want to be done with OFS, although I don't want to go to college. I will probably go to college because I want a good job in the future. I might not make it to college but I'm trying. If I go to college I plan to finish and get a job with the city and those are going to be big changes in my life because it's going to be difficult for me to meet new people and get comfortable doing something completely different.

The most influential person in my life is my supervisor, Chris Brown. Since the moment I told him how my life has been he understood me. He pushes me to do better and be better. When I don't feel like working, he makes me do the job and holds me to it. If I'm hesitant to try something, he makes me give it a try and I gain confidence doing it. He gives me advice in life. I've learned a lot from him. He motivates me and best of all, he believes in me.

Applying to OFS was a decision that changed the course of my life. I knew I wasn't going to graduate from high school and at that point I knew I wasn't going to have a great future. As soon as I was told about OFS, I did my application, called and did everything I was supposed to in order to get into this program. Now that I'm in, I love OFS. Before, I couldn't imagine a future for me, but now I can see options. It has helped me a lot and I appreciate this program because it's leading me down the right path.

My goals for the future is to be a forensics specialist in blood splatter and a model. I hope to move to California and get a place and car for myself. I like construction, but sometimes it's somewhat hard and confusing. I actually thought about working in something related to construction after I'm done with OFS, but I'm still deciding.

I've had some hard challenges in my life. I felt like school wasn't for me and I really started struggling. Applying to OFS was a decision that changed my life. Meeting my supervisor Chris Brown was another one. OFS has made me think about what I want to do with my future and what I want to change about my life. If anything, OFS changed my life for the good.

Thank you for your support! 

Operation Fresh Start is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.