The Garibay Family

The Garibay Family

AVANCE – North Texas, 2010

“Introverted, timid, and quiet” is how Leticia Garibay described her former self when pregnant with her son Jared in 2009. She admits not knowing her value then and sabotaging herself into thinking she could only be a housewife. Then she attended an event celebrating Women’s Day to hear a well-known author speak. At the event, a representative from AVANCE- North Texas said something that resonated so strongly that Leticia immediately registered for PCEP.

Leticia recalls the AVANCE staff treated her like a princess on her first day, and the care she and her son received inspired confidence that she was in the right place. Her journey was difficult, but she was persistent and never missed a class. Throughout the program, the AVANCE team kept her motivated, helping her build her self-esteem and empowering her to keep moving forward. She gained public speaking skills and learned to record her personal story with words and photos.

After PCEP, Leticia attended the AVANCE leadership academy and was chosen by her classmates to represent them with an original written piece. She continued to be involved, taking ESL and GED classes and volunteering to run the book club for eight years before accepting a position within AVANCE as an Early Childhood Educator. Leticia completed her Texas School Ready certification and is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Education Sciences. She says she now knows her worth and enjoys being in front of people and being a part of her students’ development.

The lessons Leticia learned through AVANCE also helped her guide her son. In addition to learning the value of reading, Jared learned to persevere, be resilient, explore freely, and express his feelings. As a result, he has excelled academically. He is recognized as a “star student,” making the honor roll every school year and qualifying for the National Junior Honor Society. Jared’s love for reading, science, and math has also propelled him forward. He recently received acceptance into Townview, a prestigious magnet center where he will soon enter the ninth grade. Empowered and confident, Jared is clear about what he wants and where he is going.