By: Dean Bossenbroek
Listening to six teenagers talk about their experience working for Briarpatch’s Madison Street Team (MST) during the summer of 2016 is kind of like turning on the Letterman Show expecting Madonna to talk about her latest pop-icon endeavors. Instead of providing another vanilla answer to what it was like working with her current collaborator, the next thing you know, Madonna starts describing how she battles foot fungus by peeing on her feet in the shower. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s intriguing. It’s a non sequitur.
The particular group of MST participants I spoke with in August began dutifully answering my questions about their summer employment highlights and lowlights. In addition to the traditional MST work of picking up trash on the streets of Madison, they spent the majority of their summer assisting custodial staff at various Madison Public Schools with building scouring. Their supervisors, Bryce and Selena, were also in attendance. It was the last week of MST programming, and they were celebrating with pizza. The kids names below have been changed; their responses are real.