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Pamela’s Story: Starting a new life and finding a career path, with Avivo’s help

When civil war came to her native country of Cameroonit changed everything for Pamela. At the time, she was employed as a government accountant, with a degree in business management 

Pamela worked with the Center for Victims of Torture to seek asylum in the United States, and she moved to Minnesota. 

“I was living in a shelter with six women and I had a baby,” shares Pamela. 

She wanted to be independent, and to support herself and her son financiallyShe worked with her counselor at the Center for Victims of Torture to find training, and that’s how she discovered Avivo. 

“I wanted to do [training] on a career pathway … When my case manager showed me the choices, I picked Avivo…” 

“I wanted to do [training] on a career pathway,” shares Pamela. “When my case manager showed me the choices, I picked Avivo because of their IT program.” 

When Pamela enrolled in Avivo’s Institute of Career & Technical Education she was also enrolled in Avivo’s EMPath program, a brainscience based approach to helping people reach economic independence. In that program, Pamela met regularly with Jackie Travis, a mobility mentor at Avivo, to help reach her goals. 

“Jackie has helped me so much in so many ways and has helped a number of other women who are trying to figure things out,” shares Pamela. “My challenge was [created by] coming from another country. Jackie helped guide me to resources like Avivo’s Adopt-A-Family program, and to diapers, and things like that.” 

“My challenge was [created by] coming from another country. Jackie helped guide me to resources like Avivo’s Adopt-A-Family program, and to diapers, and things like that.” 

Jackie notes that many participants in Avivo’s EMPath program have faced some sort of trauma in their lives prior to coming to Avivo, and Pamela’s story is no exception. 

“Pamela’s had to be extremely patient as she’s worked through various barriers — getting a work permit, finding childcare,” says Jackie. “I know she’ll be successful… She’s a joy to work with.” 

Pamela’s goal of graduating from Avivo’s IT program was slowed initially by the COVID-19 pandemic, but she’s persevered and is nearing graduation from a virtual A+ Certification course, which will allow her to apply for jobs in the IT field. 

With hope and a new career in sight, Pamela is excited for the future. “I hope to be able to look back and smile… It’s not the perfect path journey, but the journey toward the perfect path.” 

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