PCEP Graduation A Feast of Culture and Tradition

On Friday, June 2, 2017, AVANCE hosted the Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) commencement ceremony. 

This year’s theme was “Embracing Cultural Diversity”.  Over 200 participants walked the stage of the Houston Community College auditorium dressed in traditional attire representing their native countries.

The evening began with students from Freeman Elementary School.  Florencia (3) and Regina (8) Gomez sang the National Anthem. They were followed by the musical performance “Roll” by Freeman and Coop Early Childhood Education graduates. 

During the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a singing performance by board member Surender Talwar, who also shared with the audience a bit of his Hindu culture.

Graduates Mirta Calderon and Gabriel Rodriguez presented their stories and expressed how AVANCE has changed their lives.

“This program has given us the tools and strategies to educate our children in a better way. We leave with the commitment to be constant, patient, and tolerant parents,” said Rodriguez.

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The graduation featured keynote speaker AVANCE Board Member and President of Fastest Labs, Dan Arguijo. He stressed the importance of fathers being active role models in the lives of their children. “Mothers are a key to a child’s development and so are fathers. I commend all the parents in this auditorium for taking advantage of this life- changing program.”

AVANCE-Houston Executive Director Luz Flores also shared an empowering message, “…all parents, and children are very well- equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives.  Each parent and child has learned many priceless lessons and my hope is that you continue taking advantage of all AVANCE services and ultimately reach higher education and self-sufficiency which will lead to a better socioeconomic lifestyle.” 


PCEP Manager Ingrid Molina and Sr. Director of Communications, Marketing & PCEP Janet Deleon emceed the ceremony.

AVANCE leadership staff and board members Surender Talwar, Carel Stith, Sheila Briones, Mary Jane Gomez, Robert Tenczar, helped present graduation certificates.

During the celebration, Herrera Elementary School Principal Christopher Carnes, Counselor Maria Treviño, Coop Elementary School Counselor Ana Nieto, Houston Area Women’s Center’s Community Outreach, Concepcion Miranda were presented with recognitions for their commitment to the program.

The ceremony culminated with the raffle of a brand new laptop to a family so that they can continue improving the skills learned during the length of the program.

Congratulations Class of 2017!

Coop | Herrera | Freeman | Fisher | Kruse Elementary Schools | Dacoma II