History

Be a champion of a family’s future

History of AVANCE

Our journey started in 1972 when two Cornell University doctoral students studying under Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner created the original AVANCE-Mother Infant Program in Dallas. Then in 1973, AVANCE established the San Antonio office and began offering classes in the Marisol Housing Project.

Since the program's inception, AVANCE has earned broad recognition and funding from various sources. Notable visits from national and international dignitaries include the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Prince Charles of Wales, Oprah Winfrey and former U.S. First Ladies Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton, the late Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush. AVANCE has been featured in the New York Times, NBC’s Education Nation, ABC's World News Tonight and Good Morning America, along with several social documentaries such as Ounce of Prevention and Scared Silent.

AVANCE-Way

Other distinctions include Best Practices Award from the Texas Association of Parent Educators, HEB Excellence in Education Award, Simmons Luminary Award for Educational Excellence and many more.

AVANCE could not function without generous support from a wide range of foundations, corporations, and individuals. We would like to thank the following organizations for their historic and ongoing commitment and generous contributions to help at-risk families develop a sound foundation for long-term success: A.L. Mailman Foundation, Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant, Even Start Program grant, Ford Foundation, General Foods , Hasbro Foundation, Hilton Foundation, Mott Foundation, National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Rockefeller Foundation, the United Way of Texas and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Accomplishments & Awards timeline

1973

  • The idea for AVANCE originates when Bonnie Park and Ann Willig, two Cornell University doctoral students studying under Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner, start their Mother-Infant Program in Dallas

1974

  • Dr. Gloria Rodriguez establishes AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program in San Antonio's Marisol Housing Project

1985

  • Charles, Prince of Wales visits AVANCE
    Prince Charles of Wales-lowres
  • AVANCE receives award from the Mental Health Association

1988

  • First Lady Barbara Bush visits AVANCE
  • The New York Times and ABC World News Tonight features AVANCE's renowned Parent-Child Education Program

1989

  • Second visit by First Lady Barbara Bush
    First Lady Barbara Bush
  • Receives 1st federal grant from the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

1990

  • AVANCE receives one of the first nationwide Even Start Program Grants

1991

  • Oprah Winfrey invites AVANCE to be part of "Scared Silent," a documentary about children
    Oprah Winfrey

1994

  • Carnegie, Ford, Hasbro, W.K. Kellogg, Rockefeller, Hilton and Mott Foundations establish an AVANCE funding consortium

1995

  • Featured as National Model in Prevention of Crime and Delinquency on McNeil Lehrer NewsHour

1996

  • Featured in First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's book "It Takes a Village"

1998

  • First Lady Rosalynn Carter cites AVANCE in her book, "Helping Someone with Mental Illness"

2001

  • Recipient of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Families Count Award

2002

  • AVANCE Waco becomes an incorporated chapter thanks to a $1 million grant from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation

2003

  • The $5 million Capital Campaign is a major success. The AVANCE National Headquarters building is included in the National Registry of Historic Buildings

2004

  • AVANCE founder Dr. Gloria Rodriguez receives National Hispanic Heritage Award in Education

2006

  • Program expands to New Mexico and California with an award from the W.K. Kellogg and Hilton Foundations

2010

  • AVANCE makes history by becoming the recipient of a $12.6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

2011

  • Texas Association of Parent Educators presents AVANCE with their Best Practices Award

2012

  • Simmons Luminary Award for Education Excellence
  • Recipient of HEB Supermarket Excellence in Education Award
  • New Profit, Inc. selects AVANCE to join their portfolio of investments
  • AVANCE President and CEO is featured on NBC’s Education Nation.
  • AVANCE participates in an Early Childhood Cohort in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation

2013

  • For 7th Consecutive year, AVANCE named a Top 25 Hispanic Nonprofit by Hispanic Business Magazine

2014

  • AVANCE joins the Aspen Institute Ascend Network