Fresh Start Focus
January 2019

" Through the OFS interviewing process I learned I could be a better version of myself."
- Anthony, OFS Youth

Read  Anthony's Youth
Reflection  Below


Thank you for taking the time to read
our monthly newsletter.

Our Mission: Operation Fresh Start provides disconnected youth a path to self-sufficiency.
OFS Has a New Address

OFS will move into its new home on January 22nd.

Please update your records:
Operation Fresh Start
2670 Milwaukee Street
Madison, WI. 53704

This will mark the beginning of a new era for Operation Fresh Start,
as we begin operations out of our new home. It's an exciting time!

We are truly grateful to our community for helping 
us  reach this incredible milestone. 

For this, we thank you!

2017-2018 OFS Annual Report Available Now!

Click below to read our Annual Report and see how 17-18 was a 
banner year for Operation Fresh Start and our youth! Please note, this report covers the fiscal year from 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018. What a year it's been!

NonprofitfurnitureNonprofit Furniture Giveaway

Attention Local Nonprofits!

Do you or someone you know work for a nonprofit that needs furniture? 

January 23rd and 24th (from 8:30 - 4:00) OFS will welcome local nonprofits into our old home (1925 Winnebago Street) to pick through our remaining used furniture. We will have desks, office chairs, and other furniture, ALL FOR FREE.

First come, first serve basis. You may come early January 23rd to label items for your organization, but they must be out of the building by end of day January 24th. We hope to see you!

Thank You for Your End of Year Support!

Thank you to all who gave generously during the giving season. As you heard, the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation matched gifts given from #GivingTuesday, through the end of the year (up to $20,000). We are proud to say that we reached our goal thanks to you. 

Your gifts ensure that our youth and future OFS youth have the opportunity to forge their path toward a brighter, better future! We thank you, the individual donors, and the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation for making this 
holiday season a slam dunk!

OFS Youth Reflection

This is the story of my life. It will include my story before coming to OFS, what I've learned while here and what I hope to accomplish after. The highlights of this story include very painful moments, some good ones, but mostly painful ones. So who's ready to get started?
I was born December 2000 in Deforest WI. I grew up in many states including Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, and Wisconsin. I was raised for the first 2 years in Illinois, at age 3 I moved to Tennessee. I was six years old when my parents got divorced. Over the next few months we moved north slowly. Over the summer I would usually spend time with my Dad in Georgia.
My Mom, brother and I moved here and lived with my uncle for a good year. Four years later life decided one tragedy wasn't enough, and in March of 2011 my Grandpa died of colon cancer. He was one of the only people I didn't actively avoid long encounters with. Throughout the next few years I was in between therapists. It began to seem, as if no one wanted to be around me for too long. Being 14 and thinking no one loved you, and no one could care less what happened to you can make you do drastic things.
Now that the introductions are over, let me tell you about my early schooling years. In elementary school, I was plagued by headaches so I carried a water bottle with me and kept it full. I was great at math, and ahead of my grade in everything. As much as I didn't like doing it, I was going to excel at it. I was so far ahead that they told me I could skip two grades, being in third grade it made me feel amazing hearing that, at the same time it freaked me out. I would have been eight going into classes with ten and eleven year olds. I was afraid of being thought less of because of my age. Right when I started middle school everybody started treating me like a lesser human because I wasn't like them. I was given a concussion at the end of my sixth grade year because no teachers had intervened. I was on my own. I switched schools for my seventh grade year, and that was great, no more bullies and I was in a safe place. I graduated from eighth grade at James. C. Wright without a problem.
As a freshman in high school, I started defying everything. I was living with my Grandma and having her tell me almost every day that I can't do anything right, no matter what. That made me distance myself from authority. My Mom had enough of Grandma and me arguing every day so we moved out. Right about then is when I stopped going to school, or at least, to class. I would walk around the school halls or slip into the bathroom during class till it was over. I didn't see the point to it and that meant I wasn't going to waste my time with it. I went to gym class one day and I got my third concussion in the 5 years, so now I'm told I should avoid contact sports.
Eventually, I got in trouble with the Truancy Court, and told them I would fix it knowing I wouldn't. It got so bad a judge had to basically tell me if I didn't start going I wouldn't get my license. During our first meeting, the judge told me about OFS. At first I was a bit skeptical of it, how am I going to get my diploma without going to school, was my very first thought. Then, I went through the interview process, and told them exactly what I am telling you. Through the OFS interviewing process I learned I could be a better version of myself.
The most influential person in my life would be my supervisor, he's the one that took me in when I was feeling low and changed my perspective on life. Now, he's helping me through my term and setting up opportunities for me later in life. He taught me skills I will need and broke habits that would spoil what I learned. Before I met him, I was a mess I never showed anyone what I was thinking because I didn't want to be viewed as weak and that made it even worse. Because of Blake I have learned how to change my mindset, and after that I've started to feel better about myself and the situation I'm in. He's been a real friend, and a great mentor to me. I don't know what I would've done without him.
In my free time I'm a gamer, it influences everything I do and has even become a good teacher as to how to look at things a different way. I know no one reading this will quite understand its usefulness when done in moderation. Let me try to explain it a bit, playing League of Legends (the one game I play) forces you to come together with 4 strangers to beat a team of 5 more strangers, there are many difficulties to overcome and it teaches you how to do that. I don't tell people this, but the way I learned how to deal with people, and look at things a different way is from playing video games.
I hope to be a lineman for MG&E. It's a bit dangerous but it will be fun. I'll get to work with power lines hundreds of feet in the air. The way people can get up there, and do that work without falling amazes me and it's something that I want to do. This job will give me more things I can use later in life just like OFS. It will also set me up for not having debt, like student loans as well as other things. I am hoping this job will give me the opportunity to branch out and work on the control boxes that control the lines. When I went to the MG&E training center that's one of the things that stood out to me. At some point in my life I hope to be able to support a family while still spending time with them, something my father failed to do.
            In summary, my life was a wreck without OFS! Now, I'm on track, even better off than most. 

Thank you for your support! 

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