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AmeriCorps member lives out his passion to serve, at Avivo

Bill Bergeron loves to help and to serve. That’s why two years ago he elected to become an AmeriCorps member and serve at Avivo as an Opportunity Navigator through the Minnesota Opportunity Corps. Bill is also serving as a Mounds View city councilmember.

“Two years ago, I saw the opportunity to join the Opportunity Corps and I thought ‘What a marvelous way to serve,’” says Bill. “I could really get more one to one contact.”

His journey started with an application to the Minnesota Opportunity Corps to become an Opportunity Navigator. Opportunity Navigators apply to serve at a community-based organization, to make a difference “in the lives of others with multiple barriers to employment and economic self-sufficiency.”

Bill quickly discovered Avivo as a potential place to serve. According to Bill, Avivo’s mission and vision resonated with him and that’s why he applied to be placed with the Avivo Institute of Career & Technical Education. The day after his interview, he received “the best news I’ve had” from Avivo, telling him he’d been selected.

“I’ve always treasured education, and to be able to work with students at Avivo – to work with them on their goals and plans, their hopeful career paths – is very exciting to me.”

“I’ve always treasured education, and to be able to work with students at Avivo – to work with them on their goals and plans, their hopeful career paths, is very exciting to me.”

Bill has served at Avivo for two years. He’s helped students write resumes and cover letters, helped with job searches, and helped students improve their interview skills. His great joy has been watching the growth in confidence many students experience between their first day and their graduation or finding a first job.

“Many people on their first day at any new place have a ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look to them,” shares Bill. “To see them grow to coming in confident, asking questions and getting help, and working away – I look at them and know they’re going to succeed… It means a lot.”

“Two of the things I’ve loved about Avivo are the people who work here and the students. To me that’s the whole thing that makes this worthwhile … I’m living the dream… I’m doing everything I could possibly want to do, service for my city and service for Avivo.”

Bill shares that he’s grown from being excited about Avivo to becoming an advocate. He’s excited to share where he works . Though he’s disappointed that his time at Avivo has ended, he’s excited for the Avivo staff and program participants he’s met.

“Two of the things I’ve loved about Avivo are the people who work here and the students. To me that’s the whole thing that makes this worthwhile,” says Bill. “I’m living the dream. I’m doing everything I could possibly want to do… service for my city and service for Avivo.”