History Backup

History of AVANCE

The story of AVANCE began in 1972 when Dr. Gloria Rodriguez was introduced to the Mother-Infant Program, created by two Cornell University doctoral students studying under Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner.


Dr. Rodriguez was so inspired by the program that she decided to utilize the model and Bronfenbrenner's theory to create the AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program. In September of 1973, Dr. Rodriguez founded AVANCE and began offering the Parent-Child Education Program at the Mirasol Housing Project on San Antonio’s west side.


Since those early days, AVANCE has grown to serve the state of Texas and is starting to expand beyond the borders of the Lone Star State. Throughout our history, 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. Explore our historical timeline below to learn more about how we have grown into a national leader in two-generation programming. 

Timeline of Accomplishments


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.


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


Charles, Prince of Wales visits AVANCE. AVANCE receives an award from the Mental Health Association


AVANCE-Houston opens its doors.
First Lady Barbara Bush visits AVANCE.
The New York Times and ABC World News Tonight feature the renowned AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program.


AVANCE receives first federal grant from the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.


AVANCE receives one of the first nationwide Even Start Program Grants.
AVANCE Inc. is established as the national headquarters.


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


Lisa Oglesby Rocha establishes AVANCE-North Texas in Dallas.

AVANCE is featured in Hillary Clinton's book "It Takes a Village."


AVANCE-Austin is established.


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


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


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


AVANCE receives the Simmons Luminary Award for Education Excellence and the H-E-B Supermarket Excellence in Education Award.
AVANCE participates in an Early Childhood Cohort in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation.


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


AVANCE joins the Aspen Institute Ascend Network.


AVANCE opens the first Parent-Family Community Engagement Center in Alamo, TX, serving the broader Rio Grande Valley Region.


AVANCE begins updating core programming (PCEP) with assistance from The Harvard Center on the Developing Child, Frontiers of Innovation, Child Trends, and True Point consulting.


AVANCE pilots Quality Child Care Matters (QCCM) with family child care providers in Hidalgo County, TX.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) funds AVANCE to expand QCCM to Austin, TX.


In response to COVID-19, AVANCE adapts PCEP for virtual delivery.

AVANCE becomes an affiliate of UnidosUS.

Office of Head Start awards AVANCE a grant expanding Head Start and Early Head Start in the Rio Grande Valley.


AVANCE launches statewide business coaching for family child care providers through a TWC grant.

AVANCE pilots AVANCE to College in El Paso, TX, creating a pipeline to college for parents.