Omar’s Story: “FareStart, it gave me that punch - I’m going to do something greater with my life”

September 9, 2021

After some inconsistent work in construction and experiencing homelessness, Omar’s (he/him) main goal was to be able to afford an apartment to create stability in his life. One evening, Omar hopped on a computer and searched ‘youth training programs,’ hoping to receive the tools he needed to have a consistent, reliable work schedule. He found FareStart’s Youth and Young Adult Barista Program and decided to apply. The next day, Omar received a call from a FareStart employee letting him know that he was accepted into the program.

Omar remembers how welcoming the program trainers were. “They provided a non-judgemental environment where I felt comfortable to learn, grow and help others in the program be successful. When I started FareStart, it gave me that punch – like I’m going to make it big and I’m going to do something greater with my life. I appreciated gaining professional communication skills, application and interviewing skills and learning how to communicate with co-workers effectively.”

Omar’s eagerness to learn, his work ethic and dedication quickly made him stand out in the Youth and Young Adult Barista Program. Because of Omar’s outstanding performance and stellar attitude, Omar was selected to be an intern at MOD Pizza.

Shortly after Omar started his MOD Pizza internship, COVID-19 hit and the internship was put on hold. He quickly gained employment at a retail store where he says he worked on his interpersonal skills, including helpfulness, courteousness and punctuality. When the MOD Pizza internship started back up, he was excited to go back. During the rest of his MOD internship, he says he learned how to work at a consistent pace, how to look out for hazards and navigate around the kitchen. After his internship, he was granted an interview and became a MOD Pizza employee. “When I got that job it felt like everything I had ever worked for really paid off in the end. All of the little steps really led to this one big step – it was a big life changer, honestly.”

Due to Omar’s success and drive, shortly after graduating from the Youth Barista program he was able to accomplish his goal of getting his own apartment. This huge accomplishment was a goal of his since before coming to FareStart. Today, Omar is stable and able to fully support himself as he continues the next step in his career journey.

“These programs have given me a chance to believe. A chance to do something better with my life and have a positive impact that helps not only myself, the people around me, the people I work with, but it’s for the whole community, working together.”

When asked what he sees for his future, Omar said he hopes to continue to gain more skills to become a well-rounded and effective employee, including getting faster and more accurate on MOD Pizza’s assembly line, being more flexible, managing larger amounts of responsibilities and building communication skills. Additionally, Omar also wants to enroll in community college or a pilot school and learn how to play the harp.

Hear more about Omar's story here.