Maria Susana Oyoque

Maria Susana Oyoque

Maria Susana Oyoque studied in Mexico to be an educator and briefly taught early childhood education in Monterrey, Nuevo León. She had hoped to continue teaching in the U.S. but was disappointed to learn after moving that she could not use her degree. Without much of a social circle, she felt resigned to being a stay-at-home mom. Then in 1996, a friend told Susy that their cousin had attended PCEP in Houston and mentioned they had the same program in the Valley. Curious, Susy looked into it and enrolled.

Susy still remembers how warmly she and her young son Daniel were welcomed at AVANCE on that first day. Despite initially being very attached to his mother, Daniel was delighted with everything he saw and quickly adapted, thanks partly to his teacher’s attention and care. Before long, Daniel eagerly looked forward to PCEP. In PCEP, Susy learned so much that her classmates noticed, selecting her to present at their graduation. Her instructors also recognized that she could do more. They offered her a position at AVANCE that would allow her to use her background to build a career in education. Today, Susy is a Home Visitor and Toy Making Instructor for PCEP in Hidalgo County.

The program also had a lasting impact on Susy’s children. Daniel learned to trust others, be social, and share, and PCEP helped prepare him for pre-K. After high school, Daniel continued his education, first earning an Associate’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, then a Bachelor’s in TV/Radio/Film from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Susy’s example also helped her children see themselves as professionals and inspired them to give back to their communities. Today, both of her children work for nonprofit organizations. Her daughter Susy is a supervising paralegal, and Daniel, now 30, is a case manager.

Susy is proud not only of her children’s accomplishments but that they are great people with big hearts. Reflecting on her journey with gratitude, Susy says, “AVANCE has been a part of my life. It’s a pleasure to be part of the AVANCE family.”

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