Our Founder

Dr. Gloria G. Rodriguez

Dr. Gloria G. Rodriguez

Dr. Gloria G. Rodriguez is the Founder of AVANCE and served as President and CEO for 32 years.


Dr. Rodriguez is the author of “Raising Nuestros Niños: Bringing Up Latino Children in a Bicultural World” (Simon and Schuster), and her pioneering work supporting Latino mothers in the raising of their young children in poor communities has been recognized in the New York Times, Education Week, Atlantic Monthly, Business Week, and on ABC World News Tonight and Good Morning America.

Dr. Rodriguez's work has also been featured in the books of three former First Ladies: Barbara Bush’s “First Teachers,” Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes a Village,” and Rosalyn Carter’s “Helping Someone with Mental Illness.” The AVANCE Parent-Child Education Center was visited by Prince Charles, Barbara Bush, and Rosalynn Carter and was twice recognized by the White House as a national model in Early Childhood Education.


Dr. Rodriguez has been included in the list of 100 leading Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business and recognized for her work in numerous national magazines, including Parents, Parade, and Working Mother. In addition to being inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame by Gov. Ann Richards and into the San Antonio Hall of Fame, Dr. Rodriguez was named by the San Antonio Women's Chamber of Commerce one of the "Tricentennial 30," a group of outstanding women who had a positive impact on San Antonio across its 300-year history.


Dr. Rodriguez received the National Hispanic Heritage Award in Education, served on the International Board of the Christian Children’s Fund, and by Presidential appointment, served on the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Dr. Rodriguez received her Ph. D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas at Austin and an Honorary Doctorate from Willamette University.