On May 30, we honored the accomplishments, courage, and strength of 257 parents and children who completed AVANCE’s signature Parent-Child Education Program. For nine months, these dedicated families committed to a weekly parenting and early childhood education program. Ours was the first of many graduation ceremonies for these families who, by completing the program, prepared their young children to succeed in school and increase their own skills and potential. These children will go on to achieve great things because they have the support of their first and most important teachers: their parents. This was the largest graduating class yet, and with your continued partnership, we will graduate yet another successful class of AVANCE-Austin graduates in 2019. Together we dream, and we rise.
The speeches from the graduating mothers were a highlight of the ceremonies. Each ceremony spotlighted mothers who had been selected by their classmates to represent the class and voice their own personal journey in the program. Felicidades to the AVANCE-Austin Class of 2018!
Alma De Leon Guia
Speaker Representing Mamas Soñadoras
Alma De Leon Guia was chosen to speak on behalf of Monday’s group of moms (Mamas Soñadoras) and proudly exclaimed that “AVANCE has been part of the transformation of our lives with the experiences acquired, the enriching education for our children, and above all, the communication between parents and children regardless of age.”
Speaker Representing Star Moms
Tuesday’s group of moms (Star Moms) chose Jessica Antonio to speak for them. She boldly stated, “We have achieved positive changes in ourselves and see results in our children since the program provided us with educational tools that we can implement in our daily routine with fun activities, developing language, encouraging reading habits, positive values, and safety in the home.” Jessica has already applied to Cosmetology school and we know she has a bright future ahead.
Speaker Representing Super Latinas Mamas
“For most of us, AVANCE was a great opportunity to learn and acquire new skills as families … For example, we learned the importance of creating good foundations in our children from birth and strengthen them in the first 5 years of life, so that they in the long term, they can become adults with positive values,” explained Brenda Jimenez, chosen speaker from Wednesday’s group of moms (Super Latinas Mamas). Originally from Mexico, Brenda works hard to provide a good life for her family. She is a natural leader and has many job titles, including mom, with many more dreams to fulfill. We know she will go on to do great things!
Maria L. Mendez
Speaker Representing Wonder Moms
Maria Leticia Mendez, mother to Stephanie, was chosen to speak on behalf of Thursday’s group of moms (Wonder Moms). She shared, “In AVANCE, our children took the first step to feel comfortable in a classroom and better understand the world around them. Likewise, we [mothers] increased our personal development and the skills to promote positive actions in our families and our community. Now we feel confident to continue educating our children and support them to reach a better and promising future.”
Speaker Representing Mujeres Guerreras
Friday’s group of moms (Mujeres Guerreras) chose Nancy Mercado, mother to Scarlett, to speak for them. She detailed her experiences by saying, “AVANCE is a wonderful program that has helped us move forward and acquire new knowledge, discover our skills and talents. The AVANCE Program has allowed us to identify and support the needs of our children such as the physical, social, emotional and cognitive. It has also helped us to be more self-confident, set short and long-term goals, make beautiful friendships and, above all, spend quality time with our children teaching them through play and dialogue.”
Nancy summed up the feelings of each mother in the room by concluding: “We are graduating, but we are ready to learn more and give more to the community where we reside. We are proud to be AVANCE Alumni.”
To say we are proud of these mothers is an understatement. We were a little teary-eyed saying goodbye to this graduating class, but we know it is not an official goodbye because they will always be a part of the AVANCE family!