Operation Fresh Start helps disadvantaged kids get education, job skills

Operation Fresh Start helps disadvantaged kids get education, job skills

New trails at Prairie Moraine Park outside Verona are breathtaking, but what may be more impressive is the story behind them.

Operation Fresh Start is a program that gives disadvantaged youth an opportunity to get an education and job skills. Participants helped build the new trails.

“I’m just proud of our OFS participants,” coordinator Andrea Rieck said. “They’ve overcome a lot of challenges to get their high school diplomas, learn a skill and help themselves get ahead. Not many people do that anymore.”

Zach Midstokke is one of those kids.

At 19, Midstokke said he has made enough bad decisions involving drugs and was ready to start a new part of his life.

“[The program] really shows people that no matter what you’ve been through, they’ll give you a fresh start,” he said. “They’ll give you a chance to be who you deserve to be and who you want to be.”

Operation Fresh Start has helped more than 8,000 Wisconsinites start their adult lives off on the right foot.