Yascha Martini
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Yascha Martini

Food Service Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Corrections
Shakopee Correctional Facility
Shakopee, Minn.
Age 34

Top accomplishment this year:
Hosting our first-ever Discipline-Free Banquet, which was designed to both recognize and reward offenders who avoided receiving any discipline over the course of a year, encouraging others to know that everyone matters and plays a part in the overall atmosphere of the institution.

What’s been your most rewarding moment?
Anytime I can help teach offenders basic foodservice skills and instill a sense of confidence and self-worth, it is extremely rewarding. I try my best to make sure that my offender workers understand that foodservice is not only a job, but a life skill that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

What would you like to accomplish in your career in the short term?
Over the course of the next year, my goal is to roll out a new Fundamentals of Food Handling program for offender workers, which will allow them to get additional training and pay while working in foodservice. It also gives them the opportunity to get ServSafe certification for no charge, so they can take something positive away and improve their chances at becoming productive members of society.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
The turnover rate for offender workers in my kitchen. The offenders are constantly switching positions, getting new jobs, getting released or getting fired, so the training never ends. But whether I believe it or just tell myself it to help preserve sanity, I believe the bigger the challenge, the more rewarding it is when you succeed.

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