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Leigh Anne successfully re-enters the workforce after suddenly needing to provide for her family

Leigh Anne is motivated by the confidence she’s gained since entering Avivo’s employment programs last year. She’d been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years until divorce led to suddenly needing to care for her daughters on her own.

“There was a lot of abuse, gaslighting, and financial control [in my marriage], and it was pretty bad,” shares Leigh Anne. “Coming from that place to where I am now it already feels like a victory.”

During that time, Leigh Anne also contracted Lyme disease, which impacted her nervous system with long-term effects and in ways that’s changed how she moves and functions.

With trauma compounding trauma, proper support was important as she sought help re-entering the workforce. She found comfort in the help she received from career counselors in Avivo’s Minnesota Family Resiliency Program, a program which helps displaced homemakers who suddenly need to support their families.

“Avivo was great. I was dealing with so much, and such bad PTSD, and Avivo was able to accommodate it,” she shares. “For me, this was the first step in coming back into the world.”

“Avivo was great. I was dealing with so much, and such bad PTSD, and Avivo was able to accommodate it,” Leigh Anne shares. “For me, this was the first step in coming back into the world.”

In the past, she’d worked in administrative positions. She wanted to polish those skills and learn new ones that might lead to a career. She worked with her career counselor to enter the Avivo Institute of Career & Technical Education, where she enrolled and graduated from Avivo’s Workplace Success Strategies training program.

“Tara [my career counselor] was so great because I was able to be honest with her about my limitations, and she combed through jobs and looked at my resume and helped clean it up. My resume had been untouched for a very long time.”

Leigh Anne felt invigorated to be on her way to finding employment. “The first place Tara recommended ended up being perfect. That was pretty magical… I was hooked up with Advent Talent Group, and they linked me to my current job at United Way’s 2-1-1. This is something I enjoy doing, and I’m good at it.”

Now that Leigh Anne has employment, she’s shifting her goals to other things, such as being a positive example for her two, teenage daughters.

“My biggest thing is that I want my kids to see that I can bounce back after so many obstacles in life… to show them that you don’t have to be stuck with no options, and that there are places you can go and people who can help you.”

“My long-term goal is to have a job that I love; one I can work at, within my limitations and be successful in. I really want to give back and help people. I see there’s a need in the community.”

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