This month’s Wisconsin Hero was awarded in Green Bay

GREEN BAY –  A man making a difference in the community received some special recognition Tuesday.

First Lady Tonette Walker was at the House of Hope in Green Bay to recognize this month’s Wisconsin Hero.

Six years ago, retired Ashwaubenon teacher Bernard VandenBerk asked the House of Hope if he could start a GED tutoring program for the homeless mothers staying at the house.

They said yes.

VandenBerk says he tutors a few hours a week and has helped more than 60 women over the years.

He admits that there are challenges.

“Let’s say they’re up all night long, the baby was keeping them awake and they’re tired and they’ll come in here and dragging but pretty soon we’ll get them laughing and having a good time and that’s a thrill for me,” said VandenBerk.

Because of VandenBerk’s work, 95 percent of the House of Hope residents increased at least some of their formal education last year.

Five earned their GED and five started college.

Walker started the monthly award program as a way to recognize people who make Wisconsin a better place.

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