Wow, what a year! We have weathered unprecedented challenges, met them with determination and have successfully delivered our services with minimal disruption. For this, we offer a great big thank you to all of our donors, volunteers, staff, and Board of Directors. Through your dedication and commitment, we can focus on the task at hand and continue our mission. In our 30th year of operation, we reflect on our past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.
AVANCE was established in San Antonio in 1973, while the Houston chapter began operations in 1988. We conducted our first early childhood education programs with parenting and toy-making classes in a garage and provided home visits for Houston’s at-risk Hispanic community. After receiving our first grant from the Office of Head Start in 1998, AVANCE-Houston moved full steam ahead from that point by expanding its service delivery model, target population, and community service areas. We are now one of the leading providers of Early Head Start and Head Start services in the Houston area.
For the past 30 years, AVANCE-Houston has served over 100,000 families. We have unlocked America’s potential through effective parenting education and support programs. We are dedicated to serving the hardest-to-reach populations, and to empower families with the skills and knowledge they need to break the cycle of poverty.
While we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we acknowledge our present accomplishments and reflect on our challenges, as we plan for our future. In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated our city with unprecedented flooding which displaced many of our families and staff from their homes. Although it was a difficult period for our programs, the challenges that we faced have only strengthened our community. Our recovery efforts are detailed in this report. AVANCE-Houston was able to bounce back quickly and return to normal operations due to the concerted efforts of our dedicated staff, the generous support of our Board of Directors, and donors from all over our community and beyond. Your generosity made it possible for us to meet the needs of our families and enabled us to support our staff and share some of the resources we received in excess of our programs’ needs with other community organizations. Once again, we give our heartfelt thanks to all our supporters in the Greater Houston Area.
Our next task is to prepare for the future. The Houston community continues to grow and expand, and AVANCE is committed to embracing this growth. We have a strategic plan in place to ensure our future as a provider of indispensable services to our families and to further enhance strong partnerships.
Our Strategic Plan 2017-2020 builds upon our foundation of parent and early childhood education. We are committed and dedicated to addressing the needs of our participants, and helping our families realize a future of opportunity and economic prosperity.
To accomplish these goals, we are focusing on five target strategies:
Scale up our two-generation holistic model approach with our direct services: Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP), Adult Education, Healthy Marriage Initiative, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs.
Pursue greater collaborative strategies to seek new partners and strengthen existing relationships to increase our impact.
Enhance our active advocacy with local, state, and federal government agencies, promote policies that recognize the value of ensuring that children are ready for the rigors of the classroom, and instill parents with the tools they need to help their children achieve academic success.
Improve our infrastructure of human and technological resources to reinforce all aspects of our goals of improving operations and facilities.
Execute a comprehensive Stakeholder Engagement and Development strategy designed to attract new donors, retain existing supporters, expand board participation, and leverage our networks.
We are grateful for the support of the Greater Houston community. Through this incredible year, you have stood by us, and with your help, we will continue to serve, and our families and children will continue to learn. Together, we have proven our strength. We thank you for your support as we continue to unlock America’s potential.
Luz Flores | Executive Director | AVANCE-Houston