2014 1121 Carmela and Jade - Foundations

OFS Programs are designed to transform lives at a critical time in a young person’s life. Our programs provide a path forward for disconnected youth in Dane County, ages 16-24, through mentoring, education, and employment training, leading to completing high school and continuing their education and/or self-sustaining employment.

Our focus on diploma attainment and employment is not only life-transforming for our participants, it also makes good fiscal sense for our community. 

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Through our core Pathways program, young men and women connect to education and the workforce through service to the community and through personal change fostered within a supportive environment. This is accomplished through a paid, 35-hour/week job training program constructing affordable houses and working on local, high-quality conservation and environmental stewardship projects.


 Strive is for recent high school graduates who want to get paid while they explore and  plan for a job, a career or post-secondary education.  The program is for young people 17 – 21 years old that have completed high school and who were eligible for free or reduced lunch prices while they were in school  or for high school grads who are not living with a parent.  Strive is a partnership between Operation Fresh Start, Food Share Education and Training and the WorkSmart Network.


The Options program engages Dane County youth ages 17-24 who are not on track to complete high school. Fifth-year seniors and disconnected youth are re-engaged in their pursuit of a diploma or GED through a diploma completion or GED program.


The Graduate Crew includes a professional contractor and four or five former Pathways members who have competed to be placed on this advanced construction crew.
We are grateful to our Partners and Funders who make these programs and opportunities a reality for Dane County youth.