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Welcoming new board member series: Meet Susana

Continuing our series of introductions to our newest Board Members and leaders of our community, please welcome Susana Castillo who has lived in Austin since February 2004 and enjoys exercise, knitting, cooking, and spending time with family. Susana is self-employed and the managing attorney at Castillo Law Office. We asked Susana a few questions about her involvement with AVANCE-Austin and here´s what she had to say:

How did you first learn about AVANCE-Austin and why do you want to get involved?

My mother received help from AVANCE in Corpus Christi after we immigrated to the United States. My mother spoke so highly of this organization and it left an impression. I then heard Maria Cantu Hexsel speak about AVANCE-Austin while campaigning for district judge. It was after remembering what AVANCE did for my family that I decided to give back.

What is your favorite thing about AVANCE-Austin?

I like that it has a hands-on approach at educating its families. I like that it provides classes and individualized help for the families to have a better life.

How does being a board member at AVANCE-Austin make you feel?

I feel proud and excited to contribute to an organization that helped my own family after we immigrated to the United States. I love the idea of giving back and maybe with my own story giving our families hope for a brighter future.

What was your favorite toy growing up?

I remember growing up in Mexico and having the best time with simple toys. My cousins and I would play hula-hoops, jump ropes and “resorte.” However, I was queen at jumping rope and that was my favorite.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I don’t remember much of my childhood books but when I arrived in the United States Latino authors like Sandra Cisneros and Rudolfo Anaya piqued my interest. ¨Bless me, Ultima¨ was my favorite book as an adolescent. After I became a mother, I loved reading “Goodnight Moon” to my son.

What do you hope to accomplish as an AVANCE-Austin board member?

I want to make sure all the people who I come across know what AVANCE-Austin is and how it helps our community. I want to highlight the fantastic mission AVANCE-Austin has and how it tries to help families through education and early intervention.


AVANCE-Austin’s Board of Directors blends a diverse group of distinguished leaders. The Board oversees the organization’s business strategy, ensures accountability, enhances its public reputation, and serves as a thought partner to the leadership team. Each of the members of our board comes from different walks of life but they are all committed to empowering AVANCE-Austin families reach their highest potential. AVANCE-Austin is so thankful and grateful for everything that the Board does to help this underserved and under-resourced population.