In 2009, Rita Garza was at her daughter’s elementary school when representatives from AVANCE approached her with information about PCEP. She was immediately interested, believing the program would help her build a solid educational foundation for her youngest daughter, America. Rita had been worried about America’s school readiness because her enrollment was delayed a year because of her birthday.
Rita had always dedicated herself to raising and supporting her daughters, and PCEP opened doors to additional resources and tools to nurture their learning and development. Through the program, she learned ways to strengthen her bond with her children and build more trust within her family to help them make the best decisions for their future together. Personally, Rita found strength in the program and developed more self-confidence. Following PCEP, she felt more capable of facing obstacles, overcoming challenges, and caring for her well-being.
While in the program, Rita joined “Club de Libros,” a book club that helps parents understand the value of reading to their children and the bonding that comes with it. For several years after graduating from PCEP, Rita continued to be involved, volunteering with “Club de Libros” and AVANCE. Then in 2022, Rita returned to AVANCE as a team member. Initially hired as an Infant Development Teacher, she is now a PCEP Toy Instructor and Home Visitor.
Rita’s daughters have flourished with the foundation she built and her ongoing support. They are confident, creative, and fluent in English and Spanish, which holds special significance for Rita. America is thriving. She has attended talented and gifted magnet schools since the fourth grade, and now in high school, she is enrolled in college-level classes. America has studied theater, played multiple instruments, and plays tennis on her school team. But her true passion is fashion and marketing, and after graduation, she plans to attend college to pursue a degree in marketing and business. Rita continues to apply everything she has learned to guide her family to success. Reflecting on her journey, she says her experience with AVANCE is a source of inspiration and motivation to meet every day head-on and give the best version of herself.