Breona’s Story

Breona was an honors student. She was on a track to success, even starting to earn college credits. Then she met her boyfriend and according to Breona, that’s when everything turned upside down. “He was my complete opposite,” says Breona. “You know, opposites attract.”

Pregnant with her first child and kicked out of her house, Breona’s life had suddenly changed. Life was complicated, but she and her partner stayed together, despite having to move in with family and couch hop from time to time.

“We were … homeless at the time,” shares Breona. “I just felt lost.”

Breona and her young family needed help. They needed financial and housing stability in their lives. She’d noticed Avivo’s office in north Minneapolis and reached out.

“I didn’t have family at that moment. I didn’t have any help or direction, and that’s what Avivo did… That’s what Avivo gave me… They’re like family.”

“They’re awesome. I didn’t have family at that moment. I didn’t have any help or direction, and that’s what Avivo did… That’s what Avivo gave me… They’re like family,” says Breona.

Initially, Breona was paired with Emily Schloesser, one of Avivo’s youth employment case managers. Emily helped link her to services, including helping Breona earn her GED, and also take steps  toward becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Breona in full personal protective equipment (PPE) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breona in full personal protective equipment (PPE) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I chose to become a CNA because of my mom, a wonderful human in my life,” shares Breona. “[Working as a CNA] I got to see my potential. The more you see what you’re worth, the bigger your goals get.”

The COVID-19 pandemic complicated things for Breona, as classes switched to online-only, and she also had two young kids at home. She’s thankful that Avivo provided her with a Chromebook laptop, which allows her to job hunt or attend classes online.

“Avivo’s done a lot for me and my family. Through every aspect. Clothing, diapers, milk, my health, my kids’ health, my education, my kids’ education, doctor visits. They’ve helped so much in ways I never expected them to, that they didn’t even have to. They just go above and beyond.”

“Avivo’s done a lot for me and my family. Through every aspect. Clothing, diapers, milk, my health, my kids’ health, my education, my kids’ education, doctor visits. They’ve helped so much in ways I never expected them to, that they didn’t even have to. They just go above and beyond.”

No longer held back by the urgency of just keeping a roof over her family’s heads, Breona has been invigorated by her ability to find employment with Avivo’s help. Now she’s working toward becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), with an ultimate goal of becoming a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery.

“There’s always something better… That’s what I’ve been trying to hold onto this year. That’s what has been keeping me going. That hope right there led me on this path.”