The Espinoza Family

The Espinoza Family

While checking the mail one day in 2000, Fátima de Lourdes Espinoza noticed a piece of paper in her garden. She picked it up, reading, “Do you want to become a better parent?” It was a flyer for PCEP. Interested, Fátima called and embarked on her journey with AVANCE.

When Fátima began PCEP, she was a stay-at-home mom, and her son Héctor was only eight months old. She was new to San Antonio, didn’t speak English, and didn’t know many people yet. In PCEP, Fátima felt a sense of belonging, meeting other mothers as Héctor socialized with other children. As much as she enjoyed PCEP, personal obstacles delayed her completion of the program until 2003 when she graduated with Héctor and her new child Karla. Through PCEP, Fátima learned how to guide her children during activities and use every moment as an educational experience. She also developed self-confidence and set personal goals. Having felt limited by language in the past, she started English classes.

Following PCEP and English classes, Fátima was hired at AVANCE as a teacher. One by one, Fátima met her goals, obtaining her CDA credential, child care administrator certification, and Associate’s in Early Childhood and revalidating her foreign Bachelor’s in the Science of Accounting. Driven by her desire to give back to the community, Fátima has held various positions over her 17-year career with AVANCE. Today, she is the Parent Education Manager for School-Based PCEP at the Fenley Family Center.

Fátima applied everything she learned to guide Héctor and Karla on the path to success. At 23, Héctor recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at San Antonio with his Bachelor’s in Biomedical/Medical Engineering and is now working at a biotech company. Karla is 21 and preparing for her final year at the University of Dallas, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business with concentrations in Italian and Ethics. Karla also balances her studies with on-campus jobs, resident advisor and sports editor for the student-led newspaper. Having provided a solid educational foundation for her children, Fátima takes pride in their accomplishments and joy in seeing them at such a great stage in their lives.

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