The Crespo Family
Erika Crespo grew up in Venezuela but returned to Texas as a single parent with her son, Matthew, in 2005. She volunteered at the AVANCE Carmen P. Cortez Center, and it was during her time at the front desk that Erika was captivated by the warm welcome the families received. Curious, she enrolled in PCEP.
AVANCE became a source of empowerment for Erika, giving her the tools and knowledge to best support her son and herself. Among the valuable lessons, Erika learned the importance of cherishing the “little times” and fondly remembers enjoying activities with her son. When Matthew began PCEP, he required speech therapy, and the program gave him opportunities to build his skills through socialization with other children. He also developed a love for reading, which helped him become a better student and set him up for educational success.
After PCEP, Erika knew she wanted to work at AVANCE to provide others with the same opportunities she had. Not long after, she was hired as a Child Development Teacher. Over time, Erika assumed various roles, including home educator and parent educator, and is currently the Director of Adult Education overseeing the PCEP-San Antonio.
Erika also continued her educational journey. Despite holding degrees from Venezuelan universities, she returned to school, and in 2010 she earned an Associate’s in Psychology. While at San Antonio College, Erika was awarded the LULAC Parent-Child Scholarship for parent scholars and their children. In addition, she completed the evaluation of her academic credentials, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Law.
Matthew graduated in 2022 and now, at 18, is thriving. He took advantage of the LULAC Parent-Child Scholarship and is currently attending Palo Alto College, where he is an active member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He aspires to transfer to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he will continue pursuing a degree in Business Administration. In addition to building the foundation for his future career, Matthew enjoys gaming and music. He makes time to unwind, explore his interests, and like Erika, find moments of joy in his daily life.