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Jennifer’s Story: Earning a college degree to support her family

Jennifer is on the verge of starting a new career, after earning her college degree this past March.

“It’s an accomplishment to earn that degree,” shares Jennifer. “I’d gone to school here or there and never really succeeded because I didn’t have a lot of support.”

“It’s an accomplishment to earn that degree,” shares Jennifer. “I’d gone to school here or there and never really succeeded because I didn’t have a lot of support.”

The urgency to earn that degree came when Jennifer suddenly needed to support her family after a divorce in 2020. She needed to support herself and her four children, but the pandemic limited her options. She had experience as a server in the restaurant industry, but now needed a source of employment that didn’t just pay the bills – she needed employment that provided benefits.

“I’ve always served [at restaurants]… That’s what I’d been doing for 20-something years,” shares Jennifer.

She learned about Avivo from a mom in her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Shortly after, Jennifer was linked to Avivo’s Minnesota Family Resiliency Program, a program created to assist homemakers suddenly forced to provide for their families.

With assistance from career counselors at Avivo, she was able to find funding for college and work toward earning her degree. Jennifer wants to start a career that is sustainable; one that she can work until she retires.

She was surprised at how much Avivo helped with the process. In addition to receiving funding to finish college, she received support for a computer and occasional gas and grocery gift cards.

“Every little bit counts… Avivo has been amazing,” shares Jennifer. “They were very supportive. They were informative. I didn’t know somebody could even help me like that.”

“Every little bit counts… Avivo has been amazing,” shares Jennifer. “They were very supportive. They were informative. I didn’t know somebody could even help me like that.”

Now, she’s graduated with a degree in Business Administration and is working on her next step, finding employment. Jennifer is finalizing a resume and plans to find a part-time position where she can work until her kids are older.

“I’ve had jobs I dreaded, and I don’t want it to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way,” shares Jennifer. “Life is too short to be unhappy.”

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