Angel’s Redemption

Angel landed 52 interviews in three months, only to be rejected each time because of a past mistake. “I was chasing any sales job I could find,” he tells us. “Then one day… one of the other guys talked about graduating from a program called TrANS. He talked about the success he was having and the new outlook on life that allowed him to see himself in a better light.” Angel decided he wasn’t going to fail another interview. Angel called TrANS, and now he’s seeing himself and everyone around him in a better light, too.

Construction was completely new to him, but Angel learned more than how to build with concrete and beams in TrANS – Angel also learned how to build his character.  “Success hit my heart when I truly learned how to listen,” he says. “Listening the right way has helped me develop lifelong friendships as well as grow existing relationships. I have learned so much about the people around me. It is almost like I never truly knew them until now. Listening this way gave me the love I now have for people and their situations.”

Angel earned his TrANS certificate by hard work and constantly setting new goals for himself: earning the highest grades on his apprenticeship exams, completing certifications, building rapport, and constantly improving his character. He felt that he owed it to everyone who believed in him to make the most of this opportunity. “Good character comes from admitting that your current character is flawed,” he says. Aligned with a purpose, this change “brought about levels of success in my life that I never thought were possible.”

After graduating, Angel found his first real career working with Northeast Asphalt. Although he’s just starting out, he already feels like a success. “Opportunities come knocking on my door now, and I no longer am concerned about tomorrow, because tomorrow will be its own challenge,” he says. Even with this newfound success, Angel strives to stay humble and purpose-driven so he can learn more about his trade and the people around him. “I am confident that meeting those goals was just the beginning.” We are, too. Congratulations, Angel!

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Alison’s Graduation!

We’ve all seen this classic exercise – “Take this egg and try not to crack it today. That egg is your baby.” Maybe you even got a doll to take home that woke you up a few times in the middle of the night, so you pressed the button to make it quiet. Alison can tell you, though – that’s nothing like the real thing – and parenting is one of the most intense learning experiences you can have. We are thrilled to tell you that Alison has learned a lot about how to be a mom, while also earning her high school diploma at the same time!

As soon as Alison had her child, the Wisconsin Works program was there to help her support her baby and adjust to her new life as a parent. Alison talked with Sara, her case manager, about how much she wanted to finish school, but how difficult it was with a newborn. Alison soon learned about the Teenage Parent Program, which provided one-on-one tutoring to help her balance her school requirements with motherhood. Sara also counseled Alison about her long-term goals after graduation, as well as helping her with transportation and other resources while she earned her diploma.

A newly minted high school graduate, Alison is still working with Sara to unleash her potential. She’s exploring her possibilities and is looking for a start in restaurants. Eventually, Alison hopes to move into a call center career, where she can enjoy great family benefits and perks like education reimbursement. Now that high school is done, however, Alison can also finally enjoy some quality time with baby. Congratulations!

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Frederick’s Concrete Dream

It’s June, and that means construction season is about to kick into high gear. If you’re in northeast Wisconsin this summer, you may see Frederick hard at work pouring concrete on a project. He is another proud TrANS graduate taking his place in the industry.

Frederick came to FSC looking for a change and motivated to start a career. After talking with him and doing some assessments, he soon became very interested in construction. Enrolling in our TrANS class, he started to follow this dream.

Frederick would be the first to tell you that the TrANS program can be intense, with OSHA safety classes, math and reading classes, and physical training. He challenged himself and when things got tough, he pushed through to graduation and never missed a class.

We’re happy to congratulate Frederick on his new job with Murphy Concrete and Construction (MCC, Inc.), which provides ready-mix concrete, aggregate, asphalt, and other quality services.

Best wishes on your new career, Frederick, and please keep us posted with your future success.

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Rhonda Rises Above

Rhonda is a wonderful mom who puts her heart into everything she does. As the devoted assistant manager of a local thrift store, she thought she had the career she’d always wanted. Then health issues got in the way. She came to FSC to put her family back in control of their lives, and now she’s putting other people in the driver’s seat at her new job with Koehne Chevrolet!

The hardest thing Rhonda had to do was find a new path. Once she decided on it, her wholehearted effort made everything else fall into place. John, an FSC Job Developer said that “Rhonda always wanted to get back into retail/thrift stores or put her automotive experience to use,” having owned an auto-detailing company.

Before long, Rhonda was back in the saddle, volunteering at a local thrift store. In fact, they were so impressed that they offered her a position as a Team Lead. Unfortunately, the ongoing job duties did not match her medical needs, making it impossible to keep this position. While Rhonda was heartbroken, she was also determined to dig down deep to figure out where she wanted to go in life. “It was a gutsy reassessment period,” John tells us. In the end, “she found her second dream job…hired by the city’s largest automotive dealer!”

Koehne Chevrolet immediately noticed Rhonda’s passion for the industry. She’s been working in their sales and customer retention department for several months now. She hopes to grow with the company and even feels more confident as a parent. Always the role model, she wants her story to show her son that there is always a way to rise above any challenge. Congratulations, Rhonda!

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Positioned for Success

Ashley is a textbook example of professionalism. A few months ago, however, she decided that she wanted a new profession. She came to FSC to learn how to make that happen, and now she’s making homes smarter around Wisconsin.

“Ashley was already positioned for the career of her dreams but just needed the right connection,” says Alleigh, her Wisconsin Works case manager. Getting those connections became their focus. She volunteered in the front office at FSC, to earn a reference and sharpen her skills. They referred her to YWCA Women’s Career Closet to find professional clothing for interviews, and she practiced interviewing with her Job Developer, Craig.

It wasn’t long before she got a call back from WeConnect, a local smart home provider, who was eager to hire their newest customer support specialist. “Ashley feels like she has finally found her dream job,” says Alleigh. “She wants to keep learning and growing to continually improve her skills and hopefully move up in the company.”

Congratulations, Ashley! We’re very proud of you.

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Kristen is a pretty handy person to have around – that’s one of many reasons we love her! She was known as a jack-of-all-trades, while working in retail. After encountering some rough personal circumstances, however, she realized that she didn’t have all the tools she needed to find out what she really wanted to do in life. She came to FSC to get the tools to craft her dreams.

Kristen had already started to figure out what she enjoyed about her previous job – customer service, stocking, and working in the warehouse. She was hoping to find a different environment where she could build on these skills and find a long-term career. Kristen had been in Wisconsin Works before and knew that co-enrolling in FSET could help her grow and care for her family while she was finding her path. They also recommended something she wasn’t expecting: training in construction.

“Kristen has a tenacity about her that she doesn’t always notice,” says Amber, with W-2. Kari, with FSET, also noticed Kristen’s passion for hands-on work. They encouraged Kristin to apply for the TrANS construction training program. Her instructor Ranard quickly became another key advocate as she realized her dream. With a full team at her side, says Amber, “Kristen grew as a professional, friend, and mother, and she was able to find a job that fit where she wanted to be.”

After graduating from TrANS, Kristen is getting her start in carpentry with a full-time job at De Pere Cabinet, Inc.. She’s regained her confidence and loves being able to put her training to work and be the mom-of-all-trades her family needs. Congratulations, Kristen!

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Alyssa’s Training Connection

As a waitress, Alyssa used to take odd shifts all the time. She needed to pay the bills, but as a mom, she also wanted to see her children every night before bed. She came to FSC to learn how to get the future her family deserves. Today, she’s starting this future with Robert Half, through their connection with a training that changed everything.

“Alyssa has a great attitude,” says her instructor Linnea. “She can light up any room!” Linnea teaches the Office Professionals training where Alyssa found her calling. When she joined the course, Alyssa described her work history as “just waitressing.” She soon learned that skills she honed as a waitress made her a great fit for all kinds of opportunities. FSC also helped pay for daycare at Encompass during training, so Alyssa had time to focus on learning new skills.

Alyssa flourished! Our training partner, Robert Half, noticed her spark and zeroed in for an interview. Before long, she was offered a job as their new customer service representative.

Alyssa loves having a stable schedule that lets her spend quality time with her children and looks forward to earning vacation time to spend with them. She also hopes to save up for a better van and her own home. Congratulations, Alyssa!

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Jake’s Upward Bound

We’ve been blown away by the scholarships our Upward Bound class of 2019 has received this year! Today, let’s give a round of applause to Jake, who has been awarded a $60,000 scholarship to attend Northwestern University!

Currently a senior at Turtle Lake High School, he’ll be using this award to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University this fall. Jake’s passion for engineering has grown ever since joining the Fab Lab early in his high school career. The Fab Lab is a place where students learn about the technology that can make their ideas come to life. He eventually became a Lab Aid, stating that “this growing interest helped me decide my career path.”

Jake loves all things STEM, but he’s also simply a well-rounded guy. He’s been in Academic Decathlon, Rube Goldberg Machine Club, and National Honor Society, while racking up impressive stats as #53 on the school football team. Jake volunteers with the SOS group, which provides Christmas for low-income families in Turtle Lake. As a first-generation college-bound student, Jake was motivated to push himself above and beyond during high school. He joined Upward Bound to continue gathering resources for lasting success, which is how he found out about the NU scholarship.

You can count us impressed! Congratulations, Jake!

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2019 Dell Scholars

Hold the presses! Two of our Upward Bound students have been awarded the prestigious Dell Scholarship! That means $20,000 for college, a Dell laptop, textbook credits, and ongoing support throughout their college careers. Jackie and Reid are amazing students with big dreams for the future, and now those dreams are closer than ever before.

Reid plans to attend University of Wisconsin-Stout, where she’ll pursue her bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Science. At 17, she’s already working two jobs while living between her grandparents’ and uncle’s houses. “Regardless of the challenges I’ve faced, education has always been important to me,” says Reid. She was one of the first students to enroll in our new Upward Bound Math-Science program. Reid’s dream is to earn a PhD in the applied social sciences and become a professor.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline plans to get involved in a variety of activities as she explores ways “to make a huge and positive impact on the lives of those around me.” She will explore how to turn this passion into a career beginning at UW-Stevens Point. In addition to Upward Bound, she’s been in softball and soccer, honors choir, Link Crew, volunteering with the Lion’s club, and National Honors Society, where she’s the chapter secretary. If that wasn’t enough, Jacqueline is also a certified nursing assistant, and says “I love my job with helping my residents and my coworkers.”

“Without Upward Bound, I would not have known about the Dell Scholarship,” says Jacqueline. “Thanks to Upward Bound, I have been able to prepare myself for what’s to come.”

Congratulations, Reid and Jacqueline!

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Jena’s Perfect Fit

Because Jena’s positive vibes are pretty much contagious, we thought we’d share her great news to make your day, too! She just accepted a job offer from Concentrix, where she’ll be starting as a licensed healthcare representative next week. She found her calling through our Office Professionals class and she says it means the world to her family.

“I’m very excited about the new career path,” Jena says with a smile. “It means that I will be able to get my life back on track and not have to constantly worry about how I am going to provide for my kids.” Jena was in the middle of adopting a child, when a work injury suddenly put her career in healthcare in jeopardy. She had to move fast, so she came to FSC for some help.

“Jena surrounded herself with support,” says Krissy, her Wisconsin Works case manager. Jena was hoping to find a career where she could use the skills she’d developed as a CNA. W-2 and FSET worked together to ensure she had the resources for success, from rental assistance to career guidance. With her caring, outgoing personality, they also encouraged Jena to join our Office Professionals training in February.

“They took my goals and views into consideration and helped me find a great career in the field that I was looking for, instead of pushing just any job on me,” says Jena. Concentrix noticed her during the course. They were looking for someone with a medical background who was willing to be trained and licensed in healthcare insurance, and Jena was the perfect fit!

Jena is still in the process of adopting her little girl, and having a stable job is key to making sure this goes through. She says that she is hoping that she can go back to school to learn more about where this career can take her. Congratulations, Jena!!

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