"I learned that I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was"

January 3, 2019

“I always look at the purpose of something so that I don’t get lost in the minutia of work. I think about why I’m here and focus on providing a great experience to customers. Then everything falls into place.”

Brian is always trying to learn more. He recently graduated from the FareStart Foodservice Apprenticeship Program where he deepened his skills working at Maslow’s by FareStart. He worked in serving, hosting and bussing while keeping his main guiding principle, always think about the customer.

“I like working in a full-service restaurant,” he said. “I’m told I have a natural talent for this. When it came to serving, it was all about the customer.”

Brian had experience before in retail and other foodservice jobs, but after running into some trouble, he found that his chances to be promoted or advanced had shrunk.

When he learned about FareStart and our philosophy of second chances, he saw this as his opportunity to better himself.

“I had learned that I was a lot stronger than I thought I was in prison,” he said. “But I was facing challenges when I got out. FareStart was really supportive of me. I never felt like an outsider. The overall culture was just welcoming.”

[Want to become a Foodservice Apprentice?]

He learned how to face criticism and to give feedback even if it was uncomfortable. As he was going through the program he gave us some ideas on how to improve some of our processes when working with folks with challenges around trust, and it was great advice.

“It has been a great journey and I have a much brighter future,” he said. “External consequences may have tried to keep me down, but I put myself on this path of FareStart and I’m going to go back to school and continue learning. I’m also going to work in the foodservice field and I have a few prospects already lined up.”  

Brian has spoken out about the program on numerous occasions giving tours of Houdini North, the location of Maslow’s and even an impromptu speech at a Microsoft event. 

“If people can see through my story that FareStart can offer support to people facing challenges then I’ve succeeded,” he said. “I want to support this program even after the fact because it really works.”


Brian gave us an update. He is currently working full-time, has gotten a promotion and is nearly finished with his school degree. 

"I've learned that I can overcome any challenge if I just keep pushing, stay positive and stay true to myself," Brian said. "Things have worked out because I listen to the lessons life has thrown at me and I've learned to make adjustments to keep heading towards my goals."