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Fresh Start Focus

December 2023

Celebrating Mack’s success

We recently celebrated Mack's graduation from Build Academy! As his crew supervisor said best, "Our time together was really valuable to me and I appreciate everything you've given OFS." Mack has one of the biggest smiles in any room and accomplished great achievements while in Build Academy.

Upon graduation, Mack earned his certification in carpentry pre-apprenticeship, first aid, CPR, OSHA 10, plus his driver's license! He started in Tier 1, working on residential housing, before moving up to Tier 2, working with JP Cullen on a new state-of-the-art medical facility.

"I would like to say thank you to all the staff," said Mack in his speech, "and participants, getting up in the morning because I know that's hard. I'm gonna miss being here. Thank you for all the memories. Shout out to everyone here for giving me the tools and opportunities to help me and my future."

Jenny Sereno, Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, also attended. Two years ago, OFS received the Wisconsin Innovation Grant supported by the Wisconsin DWD which made Build Academy possible. "OFS is truly building pathways for the future," Jenny said, "We know that there has been a lot of hard work from Mack and we're excited to hear more about what your future holds but also the journey along the way."


🎓 Legacy Graduation

Congratulations to Kasion for graduating from the Legacy program and earning his high school diploma from Vel Phillips Memorial High School!

“I can’t tell you what a pleasure it’s been having Kasion on my crew,” said Ian, Kasion’s supervisor, “He is the epitome of someone you would want working on your team. I’m really sad to see him go but now is his time to grow even more and excel.”

Following OFS, Kasion will start working at Reach Dane, a local organization that provides high-quality early childhood services. It's been his goal to work in that field since starting at OFS!

“I think his move to Reach Dane is fantastic,” added Ian, “It totally fits him working with kids—he’s so kind, understanding, and patient. I have no doubt Kasion will do great in that field.”

💌 Your Support Matters

Our participants contributed incredible work to our communities this past year. Be on the lookout for our year in review and annual report in January! None of that would be possible without our community's support. If you haven't yet, please consider an end-of-year gift:


There are numerous ways to support our emerging adults!

Check by MailMake check payable to "Operation Fresh Start" and mail to: Operation Fresh Start, 2670 Milwaukee Street, Madison, WI 53704.

Wish ListClick here to view our current wish list. You can conveniently purchase on Amazon, too!

VolunteerClick here to learn more about volunteering at OFS!

Matching GiftsMany employers will match any charitable contributions or volunteer hours made by their employees. To find out if your company has a gift-matching policy, check with your human resources department.

Planned GivingSupport Operation Fresh Start's future by including us in your will or estate plan. Learn more.

💙 Thank You

Thank you to 2nd Market Capital Economic Opportunity Foundation for their generous $25,000 donation match this past fall!

Thank you to County Materials Corporation for their continued support of our Build Academy program! Their support allows us to continue skilled trades readiness and leadership training.

Thank you to Faith Technologies for your donation in support of empowering our young adults! Employees at Faith Technologies choose the nonprofit that receives the donation, so we're incredibly thankful that they chose OFS!

When participants start Build Academy, they buy their own tools with the option of funds being withdrawn across two paychecks. That’s not feasible for everyone, so we are incredibly thankful to Cleary Building Corp. for their donation to help cover costs.

Thank you to Hanns Christmas Farm for donating our massive holiday tree! Participants had a blast setting it up, decorating it, and the best part, it smells wonderful!

Happy holidays from everyone at OFS!

Thank you for helping OFS empower emerging adults on their path to self-sufficiency!

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