Bernard Vandenberk is a retired teacher who volunteers as a tutor at House of Hope, an emergency shelter for homeless young mothers 18 to 24 years of age, and their children. Each year approximately 50 percent of the residents at House of Hope do not have their High school diploma when they move in. In 2008 Bernard approached the House of Hope and asked if he could start a General Education Development (GED) tutoring program. His idea was welcomed and he began to plan and organize a tutoring program. Bernard goes to House of Hope every week to tutor residents for GED exams and college classes. Additionally, there are residents at House of Hope with learning disabilities and Bernard works through these challenges and individualizes each tutoring sessions.
For Bernard’s initiative and passion to change lives and create brighter futures, he was awarded the July 2014 Wisconsin Heroes Award.