The Ríos Family

The Ríos Family

AVANCE-San Antonio, 2001

Irma Ríos reluctantly settled into being a housewife after moving to the United States in 2000. She was bored and wanted to do more but felt limited by her education and language. One day, a friend asked if she would be interested in taking parenting classes. Irma was curious but concerned about child care. After reassuring Irma that her baby would be cared for while she attended classes, the friend shared the phone number to AVANCE, and Irma registered for PCEP.

Among the things Irma learned through PCEP was the importance of her sons’ education and nurturing their growth and development from birth. She developed strong friendships with several of the other mothers in the program who kept in touch as their children grew and learned together. More than 20 years later, this group of friends that call themselves “AVANCE moms” are still just as close.

Throughout the program, Irma also received support and encouragement that helped shift her perspective. After PCEP, she felt empowered and confident. Determined to do more, she started taking English classes and even obtained her GED.

As a result of PCEP, Irma’s sons developed a love for reading and learning at a very young age. Some tried to discourage Irma, saying that if her children started school too early, they would hate it later on. But Irma stuck with it and set her sons up for academic success.

After graduating from high school, Irma’s son Eder Alejandro attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Eder graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies in Business, and today, at 24, he is building a successful career. His younger brother, Alan Osvaldo, is now 20 and a licensed Pharmacy Technician. Having earned his Associate’s in Biology from Palo Alto College, Alan is now pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering at UTSA.

Although Irma initially doubted her ability to change the trajectory of her and her children’s lives, AVANCE helped open her eyes to a world of possibilities, transforming her outlook and equipping her with the tools to build a brighter future for her family.