AVANCE-Austin Makes Austin Greater

Being a mom to three kids can be overwhelming at times, especially when one of your children needs some extra help and special attention. Such was the case for Catalina Sanchez. Catalina found herself in a bind when her youngest son Carlos began experiencing speech delays requiring therapy. Because he was having trouble communicating, Carlos began misbehaving. Over time, Catalina and Carlos’ frustrations mounted. Feeling stretched to her limit, Catalina turned to AVANCE-Austin for help.

AVANCE was founded in 1973, and has been an Austin institution since 1998. The direct translation of AVANCE means to “advance” or “progress,” and that’s what the AVANCE-Austin team embodies. They meet families with low-income where they are. Families like Catalina’s.

After meeting with Catalina and Carlos, the AVANCE-Austin team were able to identify that Catalina suffered from postpartum depression. She began group counseling while Carlos began speech therapy. After a few months of this support, Catalina is more equipped than ever to nurture Carlos’ needs, while also giving attention to her other two kids. Catalina’s interactions have become more intentional, and through her home visits from AVANCE-Austin she has shown incredible progress in working with her kids, including her new habit of reading to all of her children every evening for bonding and cognitive skill building.

United Way for Greater Austin is proud to have played a supporting role in Catalina’s success. Funding from United Way ATX has helped to expand AVANCE-Austin’s capacity and quality for home visiting.

What’s special about our partnership with AVANCE-Austin? Together we’re supporting families with a 2-Generation (or 2-Gen) approach. This program – called Family Pathways – is meeting the needs of parents and their children at the same time, and is a proven method for bringing whole families out of poverty.

Many AVANCE-Austin team members are involved with the 2-Gen Stakeholder Network convened by United Way ATX and have contributed to the Austin/Travis County Family Opportunity Roadmap, a city-wide strategic plan for tackling the issue of intergenerational poverty. AVANCE-Austin makes Austin greater, and they are a shining example of programs that are making a real, lasting difference in our community.

You can help AVANCE-Austin build brighter futures for Austin families like Catalina’s. Because of the great programming at AVANCE-Austin, Carlos will be prepared for school and Catalina will be prepared to keep him engaged in the home. Learn how you can contribute to their efforts on their website.

For more information on the 2-Gen approach, and the work being done by the 2-Gen Stakeholder Network in Austin/Travis County visit the United Way for Greater Austin website.

*names have been changed to protect program participants.


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