On Friday, February 8th, AVANCE-Houston celebrated 25 years of empowering thousands of families in Houston during an evening that honored a national leader, Mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro. In addition, an AVANCE graduate couple was recognized for their commitment and dedication to their children’s educational success.
KHOU Channel 11 news anchor Vicente Arenas and Fox 26 Meteorologist Caitilin Espinosa teamed up to emcee the night’s festivities keeping everyone entertained.
Mayor Castro was honored for his advocacy on behalf of early childhood education and support of the AVANCE mission. “The number one ingredient our children need is a parent that understands and supports them throughout their entire educational journey, which begins at a pre-school age,” said Castro. “AVANCE does groundbreaking work equipping both, parents and children with the knowledge they need to succeed.”
Mayor Castro successfully promoted a bond initiative in San Antonio where the city will operate pre-kindergarten centers to ensure all children are school ready, graduate from high school and ultimately enroll in college.
Gabriela and Juan Manuel Contreras-Martinez were also recognized with the Roy Barbosa Memorial Award for successfully completing AVANCE programs and continuing to pursue their educational dreams.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, long-time AVANCE supporter also joined in the celebration and presented an award to Mayor Castro and the Contreras-Martinez family.
The audience was treated to a silent auction, casino tables, dancing to the music of Mango Punch, and photo opportunities with Olympic Silver Medalist Rocky Juarez who joined the celebration.
Joni Baird, Chevron Public Affairs Manager welcomed the Mayor and congratulated the AVANCE Board and corporate partners in attendance. “AVANCE is an important partner and Chevron was honored to help support their gala to fund these much needed services.” said Baird.
The gala hosted nearly 400 guests and raised an estimated $170, 000 destined to benefit the agency’s premier Parent-Child Education program.