Kristina Is on Top of the World

Kristina | FoodShare Employment and Training Success Story

The pandemic devastated so many workers in Wisconsin. It’s been a struggle to get the workforce back on track, but it’s happening—slowly but surely. Programs like FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) and support from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation combine to help workers get back on their feet and on the path toward their dreams.

Kristina is a shining example of the amazing things that can happen when someone’s personal determination meets people who want to help.

Pandemic Job Loss

In 2021, after a life-altering event caused by the pandemic, Kristina found herself without the job she loved, as she watched her savings get ever smaller. She was in a position where she knew what she wanted but needed assistance getting there.

“I had no money, was struggling to find work during the pandemic and had run out of unemployment benefits,” Kristina said, when asked why she first approached Forward Service Corporation.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

She found a friend in her case manager, Marissa. Marissa enrolled Kristina in the FSET program to put her in touch with essential resources like food and gas vouchers while she went back to school and looked for a job.

“Marissa made sure I had food and money for gas and bills, while she helped me look for work, as well as helping me through the red tape of other programs like health insurance and food stamps.”

What’s more, Kristina found that FSET would cover the costs of her tuition and provide her new clothes for school, interviews, or upcoming job.

All the Small Things

But Kristina credits the small things for having the biggest impact. She emphasizes the mental and emotional state one goes through in these situations and acknowledges the help with the little aspects that are often overlooked really carried her through.

“The ability to put gas in my tank so I could go to interviews was such a relief!” Kristina says, “Those little $30 vouchers were make it or break it for me being able to find work.”

Look Ma, I’m on Top of the World!

Feeling the support she needed, Kristina was able to finish her training and found her dream job not long after. She is now self-sustaining with full-time employment with wages near $24 per hour. It was her drive that allowed her to succeed, but she wants to highlight something she feels is very important about her experience:

“Because of the help of FSET, Marissa, and [FSC] partner programs, I was able to keep my home, my car, and regain my place in society. I don’t know what I would have done without her advocacy and the amazing network of resources offered by FSET. Today, I feel on top of the world.”


Kristina benefitted from the following programs

FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET)