KDChi Alumna Become Exec Director

KDChi Alum and Avance Graduate becomes Executive Director…

Avance is a program that educates parents with the necessary knowledge of child development and trains them with parenting skills so they can learn how to raise their children in a caring environment.  Bereniz Moreno’s story illustrates how a mother is in a position to have tremendous impact on her child-either positively or negatively.  Moreno is a living testimony to the program and as the executive director of the Avance-Waco program considers it extremely gratifying to see the positive change that happened in her family repeated in other family households.

“The day the Avance recruiter came to our door and talked my mom into attending the program changed my family’s life,” said Moreno.  “My mother was dedicated to our care; however, she would yell and scold us and we felt we were always in trouble, after attending the Avance program, my mom became more affectionate in discipline, more consistent, she would explain why we were disciplined, this in turn made our household peaceful.  My dad encouraged mom in the Avance program, he noticed her attitude with us during discipline, and saw how mom nurtured and encouraged us; thereafter, he always supported her decisions when it came to us,” said Moreno.”For nine months in that first year, my mom, and I would attend the Avance program. 

While my mom attended her weekly classes, I was cared for in an educational setting.  My mom learned basic developmental skills and was trained to monitor our linguistic, social, physical, emotional, and cognitive changes,” said Moreno. “She also attended a toy-making class that taught her how to make educational toys using everyday household items. Avance has a home-visiting component that follows up to ensure the training is provided in the homes, and parents receive personalized suggestions; I remember how that visiting day at my house was so intense because my mom was so invested in the program,” said Moreno.“My mom, through Avance, was made aware of her influential power on us, she was trained to create an educational environment in our home.  She read every day to us and had daily activities for us; we did homework every night, when the school provided none - we still had to do ‘homework’ - lessons my mother had for us. 

My mother knew all my teachers; she was a stay at home mom, so needless to say she was at the school a lot.  At my house, we were taught that high school and college were no longer an option it was a mandate, this was constantly reinforced, my parents made us believe that we could attend college and become anything we wanted,” said Moreno.”Avance helped my mom’s self esteem, before the Avance program, she was very submissive, by becoming involved in Avance, my mom realized that it was important that her children would see her as a woman motivated to get ahead in life.  Avance-San Antonio offered my mom an opportunity to take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and GED preparation courses,” said Moreno.  “Every night, I would see my mom studying and she would tell me that education and excellence is a lifelong, worthwhile pursuit. 

Through Avance, my mom got her GED and went on to get her cosmetology license,” said Moreno.”Through the Avance training, mom was given clear instructions and training about expectations for us when it was time to enter school,” said Moreno. “From a basis of knowledge, my mom explained why she demanded we do things a certain way and that gave her ‘assumed authority’ to run the household. My dad is  - old school — macho man,” she said. “He is the protector and he has always made the final decision in our family.  However, Avance taught my mom how to be less submissive and communicate around some principles; what will make the kids strong and self-sufficient. 

My mom learned how to mediate and communicate,” said Moreno. Bereniz studied hard and graduated in the top 5% of her high school class, she received both an academic and soccer scholarship offer to Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville, Texas.  “When I received the scholarship offer, my dad thought it was too far and did not want me to leave,” said Moreno, “I also received scholarship offers to local colleges, so my dad argued about this point for many a day,” she said.  “I had made my mind up - I wanted to explore my college days living away from home.  My mom supported my decision and became the backbone I would stand behind when my dad would hit that certain pitch,” she said.  “My mom supported me in the final decision and I prepared to leave for SHSU.  The day came when they drove me to school, when we arrived and located my dorm room was when my dad realized the dorms were coed, he was not going to let me stay,” said Moreno.  “You are not staying here with all these boys, my dad said very loudly for everyone to hear.  With my mom’s support, my dad reluctantly left me there,” said Moreno.  “On my college graduation day, when my dad approached me, I remember him saying, ‘you proved me wrong, I thought letting you go would be the biggest mistake, I am so happy to have a daughter that is so successful’ -  I caught a glance at my mom and saw how proud she looked hearing my dad tell me that,” said Moreno.

Avance-Waco was founded in 2002 with financial support from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation.

Article written by Margie Cintron who has twenty-six years of experience in planning and grant writing for workforce development, community improvement, municipal government, education, community collaborations, small business development, and affordable housing.
link: http://www.findmegrants.com/blog/featured-non-profits/avance/
Share this post:

Comments on "KDChi Alumna Become Exec Director"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment