Hirut’s Story

“This job changed my life. I’m very happy,” says Hirut, mother of five living in Minneapolis. Hirut is working for the City of Minneapolis. She moved to the United States from Ethiopia 22 years ago.

“I was young, in my early 20s,” says Hirut about her immigration to the United States. “I married and moved to United States.”

Once in Minnesota, she started to endure hardships, including an abusive relationship she needed to exit. She knew she needed to learn how to support herself and her children.

Hirut was referred to Avivo’s Institute of Career & Technical Education by a nonprofit partner. She entered Avivo’s Maintenance Custodial training program and says she enjoyed learning advanced cleaning techniques. “I really did like the class. It’s like home,” says Hirut. “I thought it would feel more like a [traditional] school, but it felt more like family.”

Hirut poses with Minneapolis Councilmember Cam Gordon, who attended her graduation ceremony at Avivo.

In training, Hirut learned about maintenance – including electrical and plumbing, safety, buffing the floors, and more. She also learned how to interview for jobs and how to create and update her resume.

“Hirut is extremely kindhearted and hard-working,” says Tara Munroe, career counselor at Avivo. “She gets along with everyone she comes in contact with, and we couldn’t be happier for her.”

In addition to winning the friendship of her Avivo case managers and instructors, Hirut has also befriended Minneapolis Councilmember Cam Gordon, who attended her graduation ceremony at Avivo. She met him while dealing with a city matter, and quickly earned his praise as he watched her take control of her life.

“It’s been wonderful to watch Hirut grow and create her own economic independence,” says Councilmember Gordon. “Also, I’m tickled that she’s now working for the City of Minneapolis.”

Hirut says that she’s happy with her new career. She’s using her maintenance custodial training in her new position. She looks forward to using her income to pay for life’s necessities – but also to schedule her first-ever, return visit to Ethiopia.

“I like what I do – I’m so grateful for that,” says Hirut. “They take care of us at Avivo. They don’t just teach us, they take care of us.”

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