OFS Logo - PNG.png

Fresh Start Focus

March 2023

Training for Conservation

This past month, our conservation crews completed some incredible achievements that will benefit future careers and pathways!

Conservation crew supervisors of the Legacy program and Conservation Academy participants completed Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) training for chainsaws! First, they learned about chainsaw safety and then spent an afternoon at Lake View Hill Park practicing body mechanics, tree felling, limbing, and bucking. Shout out to certified SAWW trainer Luke Saunders of Blue Heron Stewardship, LLC for the great training!

Conservation Academy participants completed their S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior and S-130 Firefighting Training courses! They learned about communication methods, prescribed fire ignition techniques, hand tools like flappers and fire rakes, practiced deploying fire shelters, and more. Prescribed fire and wildland firefighting are important to land management!

School Board Candidate Forum

Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is holding a School Board Candidate Forum at Operation Fresh Start! It will take place Wednesday, March 29 at 3:00 PM. The three candidates for MMSD School Board will be in attendance. The candidates for Seat 6 are Badri Lankella and Blair Monser Feltham; Candidate Nicki Vander Meulen is running uncontested for Seat 7.

The public is encouraged to attend! No registration is required but is highly appreciated. Specific items expected to be discussed will include re-engagement rate, community partnerships, school safety, and driver’s license attainment.

Learn More & RSVP

March Graduations

On March 1, we celebrated Kobea’s graduation from the Operation Fresh Start Legacy Program and earning his High School Diploma from Madison West High School! Congratulations, Kobea’!

When Kobea’ first started on the Conservation crew, he did not enjoy the work. His crew supervisor Taylor said, “We definitely had our ups and downs, but as he proceeded in the program, it was like watching a whole new person unfold with the amount of personal growth he had done. The amount of growth that I've seen from Kobea’ during his time here is remarkable.”

“One thing I'll miss about Kobea’ was our in-depth conversations... He was so open with the crew and brought everyone into the conversation. He has the ability to make people feel comfortable and welcome.”

Kobea’s crew members say they will miss his leadership, character, energy, and his sense of humor. Kobea’ appreciates how others have pushed him.

Kobea’ also earned his driver license, Pre-Apprenticeship in conservation through the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standard, and earned over $2,000 through the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to further his education. Plus, on the same day as his graduation, he interviewed for a job at TruGreen and got it! We are so proud of Kobea’ and know he has a great, bright future ahead of him.

Job Explorations

Sincere is interested in becoming a programmer or tester in video games, currently exploring technology programs at Madison College. He wants to help make games that change how people learn about the world! He met with Jake Miller, producer at Raven Software, to learn about the industry and the best ways to get started.

Cherish was excited to interview at Reach Dane and get the job! Cherish is interested in studying psychology and pursuing a career as a therapist. She hopes to work in the nonprofit sector during her gap year and learn more about behavioral development. CareerScape helped Cherish hone a professional resume, practice mock interviews, and connect her with eager employers.

Mylon got the opportunity to meet with First Officer Fareed Guyot, a pilot for UPS, to discuss a career in aviation! Mylon received a wealth of professional advice and connections from Fareed, plus a book outlining the in’s and out’s of earning his pilot’s license. Community partnerships with mentors like Fareed make it possible for our participants to explore careers in different passions and fields!

All of these wonderful opportunities are thanks to our CareerScape Counseling program, coordinator Aram, and supportive local businesses and professionals!

OFS Legacy participants took a tour at the Madison Metro Transit facility located on East Washington Ave and had the opportunity to learn more about careers there! They got a peak of daily operations like what happens in bus hangars, the washing area, and the bus shop. They also learned how hybrid engines work and the life cycle of a bus!

Women in Construction Week

On March 7, Operation Fresh Start hosted WRTP / BIG STEP's Women in the Trades Career Fair with 33 community businesses, organizations, and unions! We were honored to work together on such a great opportunity for women looking to join the trades.

Stephanie Moreno, South Central Regional Lead Coordinator of WRTP | BIG STEP said, “In honor of Women's History Month, Women in Construction Week, and tomorrow International Women's Day, we wanted this career fair to be the means of exposing the community to tons of opportunities in construction, manufacturing, and more.”

If you missed out on the career fair, there are always opportunities at www.operationfreshstart.org and www.wrtp.org.

"Never feel intimidated by anybody around you or your environment."

Nia, one of Operation Fresh Start's Build Academy participants, talked about why she got into construction and words of encouragement for fellow young women. Read the full interview!

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

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram
Visit our Website
Donate Today