Parent Testimonials

I think the Y.A. Program is really great for these kids. It gives them a chance to really find out who they are as they mature each year. It creates responsibility and gives them a good base for their future. I know for my son having his job and his regular classes and doing his sport was challenging at times but, overall, I know he will do good with his future ahead. Thanks to everyone who gives these kids this opportunity at their place of employment and keeping them involved.

Rosanne Begene



My name is Brian Bruns, and my daughter Dionne has a youth apprenticeship with Felician Village.  Dionne wants to pursue a nursing career.  Her youth apprenticeship experiences have defined and reinforced her career choice.  I believe that the stronger your belief is that you have made the correct career decision, the more motivated you will stay through the hardships of achieving that goal.  Those hardships would include long hours of study, financial pressures, and reduced time for “fun” things, to name a few that come to mind.  Dionne attended the funeral of a client she was fond of.  Learning what that meant to the clients family was a valuable learning experience.  The Youth Apprenticeship Program was everything we had heard, and hoped it would be.  It is a great thing for high school students, and I wish a youth apprenticeship was available for every student that applied.  I am extremely thankful to the employers and mentors who give of themselves for the benefit of the students.

Brian Bruns



Our son Zachary Pethan was fortunate to get a welding apprenticeship with Heavy Metal Fabricators.  Over the past year, we have enjoyed seeing him grow both personally and as an employee.  His experiences have taught him job skills, a trade and the value of hard work and money.  Although his experience at HMF has been very positive, he has chosen to attend the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. The skills that he has acquired during this apprenticeship go beyond the working environment.  It has taught him responsibility, work ethic, communication skills and most importantly how to be an employee.  As parents, we are grateful that the school and the community have come together to provide such a great learning opportunity for our son and the students of Manitowoc County. This opportunity to learn in a nontraditional classroom setting is invaluable to these students as they make decisions about their future.

Katie and John Pethan



We are very thankful for The Youth Apprentice Program. We’ve seen a marked improvement in our son’s attitude around the house. One reason was he saw the amount of work it takes to support a family. He had an obvious sense of pride and accomplishment as he came home from work each day. He was happy to be able to contribute some towards the expenses like gas, clothing and meals on occasion.  Also he made new friends that he works with and we notice the camaraderie he has with his fellow employees.

Cindy Chin



During Sam’s involvement in the youth apprenticeship program, I have noticed so many positive improvements in a daughter that I thought had a lot of good qualities to begin with. She has taken great pride in working at the Credit Union. She is on time, takes pride in her appearance, truly likes who she works with and she has, I feel, gained better communication skills with all ages and sorts of people. I don’t think young people get enough exposure to situations in which they have to get involved and have actual conversations with people. She also takes great pride in knowing that she has earned money to help pay for college. I hope that my next daughter takes the steps to be a part of this program as it teaches skills that school and parents cannot always accomplish.




My wife and I would like to thank both the Manitowoc School District, especially Kari Krull, Richard Conrad, and Jagemann Stamping for accepting Miles as a youth apprentice for the past two years.  He has enjoyed learning and working in the engineering department as a drafting and design apprentice.  This experience has sparked an interest in the field of engineering.  He will be attending UW Platteville in the fall to pursue a degree in engineering.

Daniel Sonnenberg



We have had two of our children involved in the youth apprenticeship program at Lincoln High School, and we have nothing but good things to say about the program.  Both our kids applied for and succeeded at getting excellent job opportunities at Bank First National and the United One Credit Union.  They have both taken this great opportunity they received and ran with it which has made them both confident and responsible teenagers.  Our son who was the first to join the apprenticeship program in our family has just successfully completed his first year of college at UW Whitewater, and our daughter will be attending UW Green Bay next year.  They have both decided to follow the career path which they started through the apprenticeship program and are confident in their career choices.  We feel this is due to the apprenticeship program offering kids the opportunity to try a job in the profession they feel they want to pursue.

Steven and Lisa Ratajczak



We would like to express our gratitude to Bank First National for choosing Brandon to work through the Youth Apprenticeship program at their financial institution.  Brandon has gained many valuable employability skills through this opportunity such as team member interaction, respectfulness, customer service, and financial skills all while improving his confidence.  Brandon always talks very highly of Bank First as a company and his fellow coworkers. I know that no matter which career path Brandon chooses Band First and its team will always have a lasting impression in his life.  It has helped him decide that a financial career is the right choice for his future.  Brandon was fortunate to be chosen to work for such a professional/team-friendly company such as Bank First National.  Thanks, Tara, to you and your company for all you have done for Brandon and for giving him this great experience.

Wendy Smith



We would like to thank the Manitowoc Public School District for offering the youth apprenticeship program to kids and hope this opportunity is still offered in the future.  First of all thanks so much for this program.  We have seen our daughter grow tremendously since last summer in attending LTC to receive her CNA license and then to move onto her work at Aurora Hospital as a CNA.  The life experience she has received being in the program has grown her confidence in accomplishing all she has this year as well as giving her the knowledge that through her work there she would definitely like to pursue a career in the medical field as a physician after college.  The ways in which the program has helped her are many as you can imagine, but one example is in her communication skills  working in an adult environment with other nurses and patients and having the responsibility to deal with the situations that type of setting creates on a weekly basis.  She has also become even more disciplined in time management in terms of juggling school and work schedule which changed every other day because of her block schedule, just transitioning between the two and being comfortable with that; and time management in the midst of school and sports to finish most friday evenings her medical terminology online class as that was always the weekly test deadline for the class.  There is so much more to say, but please know that the program is truly a blessing on so many levels and a building block to her future that  no one can ever take away from her.  It has been an amazing opportunity to say the least!



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