Operation Fresh Start is an asset to Dane County - that's why I am committed to helping them raise money to expand programming so more young people can find pathways to personal sustainability and employment success. Thank you for your support!
Celebrating 50 years
Operation Fresh Start is celebrating 50 years of serving disconnected youth ages 16 - 24 in Dane County and guiding them on their path to self-sufficiency!
OFS participants earn their high school diploma, attain a driver’s license and gain work experience in the construction and conservation fields. They build affordable homes in our community and help maintain the natural beauty of our city and county parks.
There are 3,600 disconnected youth in Dane County – young people who are neither working nor attending high school. Seventy percent of OFS participants are young people of color and more than 40 percent are housing-insecure, often “catching a couch” in exchange for chipping in for living expenses. A good majority of OFS youth are working hard to overcome challenges in their lives; challenges like homelessness, mental health problems, learning disabilities, substance abuse issues or criminal records. Operation Fresh Start is working to ensure these youth realize successful outcomes.
Operation Fresh Start’s work is important now more than ever. On our doorstep are multiple crises: COVID-19, systemic racism and a failing economy. We know that Madison is among the worst in the nation when it comes to disproportionate Black vs. White arrest rates, academic achievement gaps, and low percentages of Black homeownership. OFS offers opportunities to young people so they can avoid dropping out of high school and get job training that can lead to living wage jobs and higher-paying careers.
Along with helping disconnected youth access training and education, OFS is committed to providing emotional support for its young people. OFS staff members act as mentors, talking through conflicts with youth, sharing advice and helping them plan for success. In other words, at Operation Fresh Start, youth know staff care for them.