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Tommy’s Story

Tommy credits Avivo for inspiring him to transform his life. He’d repeatedly attempted sobriety. He had little success until he entered Avivo’s Institute of Career & Technical Education.

“I’d completed recovery programs two different times,” says Tommy, “but never really stayed sober until I did career education.” According to Tommy, it gave him something to do and aim for.

“I’d completed recovery programs two different times … but never really stayed sober until I did career education.”

Tommy’s troubles started as a teenager, and grew from there. “When I was 17 I got into a fight with some bouncers in Northeast Minneapolis and I ended up going to prison,” says Tommy. “I got out and thought I could manage myself, and I fell back into the same old crowd, same old neighborhood, and same old friends.”

After signing up for Avivo’s Maintenance Custodial Training Program, Tommy worked with Avivo staff for employment and career support, which helped him gain confidence for the job hunt.

Tommy worked with Avivo staff to learn how to create a resume, and gained the confidence to interview using mock interview practice sessions.

“[Mock interviews] really set the stage for me to walk into an interview, be confident in what I was saying, and trust the knowledge that I learned… and to go forward and grab the job!” says Tommy.

“Without Avivo I probably would have been nowhere. A dead-end job. Possibly back to the streets. It’s kind of amazing when I think about the changes that I’ve made.”

Soon after graduation, Tommy studied for, and passed, the Minnesota Boiler’s Operator exam. That made him a licensed boiler operator. He says the test was difficult, but worth the effort. “Studying hard was a big part of graduating and eventually passing the licensing exam … It’s meant everything to me.”

Now Tommy works at a Twin Cities circuit board manufacturer as Chemical Maintenance and Waste Treatment Operator. In three years, Tommy has been promoted and received multiple pay raises.

“Without Avivo I probably would have been nowhere. A dead-end job. Possibly back to the streets. It’s kind of amazing when I think about the changes that I’ve made.”

 

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