Padre of the Month: Julio

Julio Cruz father of the monthJulio was sitting on a park bench watching his son, Ethan on the playground when he discovered AVANCE-Austin. He met a mother who told him about a program offering par
enting and child education, English classes and community resources. He was immediately inspired. The classes offered so much to the woman and her child and he wanted the same opportunity to attend. However, he was reluctant to apply since his wife worked during the day and he wasn’t sure if the program accepted men. Eventually he called and was surprised when the teacher
told him fathers were indeed welcomed and in fact, highly encouraged to attend. On the first day of the program in September, Julio was nervous to be the only man among a room full of women. He wasn’t sure if he belonged, but knew that he wanted the best for Ethan. As he continued to attend more classes, the fear began to disappear. He realized that being the only father in his class at Perez Elementary could inspire others in his community to become more involved with their children. When another father asked him why he was sewing educational toys for Ethan, Julio told him how important it is for fathers to be involved in their children’s learning and that it is best for both mothers and fathers to have an equal role. “There’s always time for TV and going out; but there’s also always time for children,” he explained about dedicating time. Ethan is now 2 years old and loves learning in his early childhood classroom. “Ethan le gusta jugar afuera en los parques, caminar, explorar. El es muy curioso.” “Ethan likes to play outside at parks; he likes to walk and explore. He is very curious.” Julio describes his son. After he graduates from AVANCE, he would like to continue inspiring more fathers to help their children succeed and to volunteer for next year’s program. For Ethan, he hopes to always continue learning and be as involved throughout school.