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Danielle’s Story: finding employment to support her daughter, with Avivo’s help

“When I look back, it’s amazing to see how far I’ve truly come,” shares Danielle, Avivo participant and graduate of Avivo’s Institute of Career & Technical School. According to Danielle, that’s what keeps giving her courage to look towards the future.

When her daughter was born, Danielle was able to stay at home with her. When her daughter was almost three years old, Danielle and her daughter’s father separated. He told Danielle she had four months to figure out what she was going to do; she and her daughter would no longer have a roof over their head, and Danielle would be on her own.

“It was a major reality check – being a single mom. I had to quickly figure out how to do it all on my own,” she said. She secured public assistance and was connected with an Avivo career counselor to help find employment.

“It was a major reality check – being a single mom. I had to quickly figure out how to do it all on my own.”

According to Danielle, it has been a 15-year journey, starting at age 13 when she was in a car accident. She survived with a traumatic brain injury.  She has also had several medical issues since, and she has had to spend time finding supports and resources to help her achieve her goals.

Avivo helped Danielle with her resume, search for jobs, and practice job-hunting skills. According to Danielle, Avivo’s Job Club was very helpful, because they practiced interviewing with employers. She enjoyed meeting others who were in similar situations.

She was also able to enroll in Avivo Institute of Career & Technical Education and graduate with a certificate from the Business and Computer Applications Systems program.

“Avivo’s help reminds me that I’m not alone as I continue to work on securing a steady enough job to support us … I am truly grateful that they are here.”

“I refined my computer skills, knowing that I’ve always wanted to work in an office position. I use my skills to stay organized, and I created a professional binder for future interviews.” Over the summer, she gained experience volunteering two days a week with the St. Cloud VA Health Care System in the pharmacy and occupational health department.

Right now, she believes a consistent part-time job is in her best interest.  It allows her to be more available for her daughter, who is in kindergarten, and to pay attention to her own medical issues.

She persisted in finding part-time employment in the St. Cloud Area School District, and works as a substitute kitchen helper. The position gives her the flexible schedule she needs for her daughter.

“Avivo’s help reminds me that I’m not alone as I continue to work on securing a steady enough job to support us,” shares Danielle. “I am truly grateful that they are here.”

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