The Rodriguez Family

The Rodriguez Family

AVANCE-Houston, 2015

Gael and Cristina Rodriguez married in 2014, and that same year, Cristina enrolled in the AVANCE Early Head Start (EHS) program while pregnant. The program helped her prepare for motherhood, and she enjoyed meeting other mothers. Having recently recovered from a serious health condition, Cristina was grateful for the opportunity to share her experiences and develop a community of support. Upon completing EHS, Cristina enrolled in PCEP with her newborn daughter, Aria. At the time, Gael worked during the day and couldn’t join her, but he always enjoyed hearing about what his wife had learned in class. After completing PCEP, Cristina took home all the toys she made for Aria, sparking Gael’s interest in joining AVANCE.

Together, the young couple completed the AVANCE Healthy Marriage program. Then Gael enrolled in the Fatherhood program, which gave him the tools and encouragement to be the best father possible. Continuing her education, Cristina attended ESL classes and was later hired as a Teacher Aide at AVANCE.

Their family also kept growing, and the couple now has four children, all of whom participated in PCEP, EHS, and Head Start. Now eight, Aria is thriving and has a passion for reading and the arts that distinguishes her from her friends. Ian, their second child, is already seven and is a natural leader who excels at math and public speaking. Leah and Ethan are the youngest but, like their older siblings, have unique qualities that make them special. Gael and Cristina understand that their children’s young years are fleeting and strive to make the most of them, enjoying playtime, storytelling, prayer, and bedtime routines.

Along their journey, Cristina and Gael purchased a home and started their own residential and commercial remodeling company, ALI Remodeling LLC. Business boomed, and in 2020, Cristina left her position at AVANCE to help with the administration of their highly successful business. Since then, the company has continued to expand and has a nationwide presence, particularly in areas affected by natural disasters.

As Gael and Cristina make great strides in achieving their goals, they continue to use the tools they gained through AVANCE to guide their family toward a bright, successful future.