Meet our Madre of the Month, Aidee

aidee and kendra collage

On Aidee’s first day at AVANCE-Austin, she doubted she would finish the nine-month program. Between managing the auto mechanic and catering businesses she owns with her husband and taking care of her family, four hours a week at AVANCE seemed like a big commitment. “I did not think I’d make it through to the end,” Aidee recalls.

Kendra, Aidee’s daughter, had other plans. She couldn’t wait to get back to her class. Aidee decided to give the class another shot. Kendra, two-and-a-half years old, was making friends quickly, and Aidee was glad that her only child was learning to share with others.

As that first day at AVANCE had turned into nine months, Aidee noticed how much progress they had made together. Every time she and her daughter crossed the street, Kendra counted the cars they saw and called out their colors in both English and Spanish. Kendra had fallen in love with school.

While Kendra was engaging with peers, Aidee was becoming a leader in class. Her teacher, Miss Nancy, selected her to speak on behalf of AVANCE-Austin’s class of 2016 at the Graduation Ceremony. Speaking to 200 other graduates, she recalled many special moments and accomplishments. “Today we are transforming the future of our children. Through this program, I learned that our children’s learning begins early in the womb. Every second spent with your child is a teaching moment.” She also extended gratitude to all donors, supporters, and volunteers, who are the “motors that drive AVANCE. Without them, we wouldn’t have completed what we have achieved today.”

Aidee is currently taking English classes at Manos de Cristo in order to expand her businesses. “Speaking English in this country opens many doors,” she says, and credits AVANCE’s English as a Second Language class as the catalyst in gaining more confidence and knowledge.