Born in Houma, Louisiana on February 5th, 1974, Dion was the second son of Floyd and Lynda Bergeron. Dion’s older brother Paul passed away at age 9 from Neuroblastoma when Dion was 5, so he grew up as an only child. Dion saw his father a handful of times throughout his life, but never really bonded with him.
His mother moved him around frequently, sometimes multiple times a year. Raised by his single mother, he lived in Louisiana and Alabama, before moving to Michigan City, Indiana at around age 10.
His mother tried hard, but had a long history of mental illness and addiction. Alcohol and drug abuse were a part of every day life, and they struggled financially. Dion learned the ins and outs of the welfare system from an early age, watching his mother juggle food stamps and bills, and was on track to becoming another statistic himself. Eventually his mother was placed into a care facility.
Dion was forced to grow up fast, and was on his own at 16. The combination of working full time to pay bills and trying to juggle school was too much. He dropped out of High School, but got his GED the day he turned 18. He migrated back and forth between Indiana and Louisiana, unable to find a direction.
At 19, while living in Louisiana, Dion was arrested for Criminal Damage to Coin Operated Vending Machines, a misdemeanor. This would prove a crucial turning point for him.
Dion witnessed the difference in the way the judicial system treats people based on wealth, as he was offered a plea deal: pay a few thousand dollars, and the charges would vanish. Unable to come up with the money, the case proceeded to trial, which Dion lost. Since Dion was with someone who committed the crime, he was just as guilty, the law said, so he was sentenced to one year in the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex in Houma, Louisiana. At the time, there was a rash of these crimes, though Dion had no idea, and the prosecutor and judge were under pressure to make an example of him.
It was while here that Dion vowed to turn his life around. He straightened up, and made positive steps to ensure that he would never see the inside of a jail cell again, eventually even becoming a Correctional Officer, having the experience of both sides of the bars, a rarity in law enforcement.
Dion attended local schools in Michigan City since moving here from Alabama with his mother at around 10 years old. St. Paul Lutheran, Joy Elementary, Barker Junior High, and Elston High School formed the foundation of his education. He grew up right here in the region, and sends his children to the public schools here as well because he believes in them.
He attended Ivy Tech for Computer Science, with a focus in Network Administration, and knows first-hand of the student debt incurred by massive numbers of our citizens, as well as the numerous flaws (and strengths) in our higher education system.
Dion’s first job was at the Michigan City Humane Society (and Fried’s Cat Shelter) as a volunteer in his early teens. His first paying job was also at the Humane Society, as they hired him on when he reached legal working-for-pay age.
From food service to transportation, from 10 years as a long-haul truck driver and trainer to 7 years as a Correctional Officer at Indiana State Prison, even becoming a Real Estate Broker, Dion has experience working and dealing with people all across this country, and from all walks of life.
In this time of incredible division, we need the life experience and skills of people who can empathize with those across all walks of life, and Dion embodies a unique opportunity to bridge divides.
Dion Bergeron believes very strongly in honesty, integrity, and accountability. His life experience has taught him that people make mistakes, but taking responsibility for those mistakes and vowing to learn from them is where true character emerges. Perfection is not a human trait, and it is our flaws that make us who we are, and mold our uniqueness.
Dion believes that true freedom is the ability to chart your own course in life, raising yourself up from the crushing yoke of terrible childhood experiences, turning them into strengths, and using that history to connect with people that would otherwise be unreachable.
One of Dion’s core values is family. He is the proud father of 5 children, ranging in age from 23 to 12, and has been happily married to his wife Elizabeth for almost 10 years.
Dion values self-sufficiency and drive, while also understanding that there are times when people need a hand.
Witnessing what is going on in our government, Dion can no longer stand by and simply hope it gets better. Together we can make real progress.