The grant will support 48 AmeriCorps members in El Paso and 12 AmeriCorps members in Dallas who will engage in early literacy interventions and participate in the early childhood development program at AVANCE while recruiting hundreds of volunteers in both communities.
Funding from the OneStar Foundation is being distributed to AVANCE after being selected in a highly competitive statewide and national process. The current year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong and growing demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. Demand is also strong from individuals wanting to serve. CNCS received a record-breaking 582,000 AmeriCorps applications in 2011, a dramatic increase from the 360,000 seen in 2009.
“AVANCE is honored to continue our partnership with OneStar Foundation and AmeriCorps,”
“National service is an essential part of the solution to many of the social challenges facing our communities,”
"AmeriCorps members are improving the lives of millions of citizens and having a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our communities,”
The AVANCE grant advances the priorities of the bipartisan 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and focus AmeriCorps resources on many of the key service areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, and healthy futures.
Since 2006, 237 AmeriCorps members have provided more than 317,000 hours of service to the El Paso community through AmeriCorps. The funding made available this year through the OneStar Foundation will allow AVANCE to leverage an additional $517,438 in matching funds.
The inclusion of the AmeriCorps program within the Parent-Child Education Program allows former AVANCE parenting and GED graduates the opportunity to pursue a one-time unachievable dream of an education through their service as an AmeriCorps member. After successful completion of service within the AVANCE AmeriCorps program, members will receive an educational award of $5,550 to continue their education at an institute of higher education, positioning them to enter into the El Paso workforce.
Dr. Glendelia Zavala, the Chief Program Officer of AVANCE National explains, “Part of our family intervention model is developing the parents’ job skills and helping them become career-ready. This partnership with AmeriCorps and the OneStar Foundation in El Paso and Dallas is wonderful! Our goal is to partner with AmeriCorps at all AVANCE chapters and partner sites across the nation. I want all our families to have this special opportunity to serve as role models and continue the path toward reaching their full potential.”
The story of Cynthia Roman is the perfect example of how AVANCE is transforming lives with the inclusion of the AmeriCorps program. Cynthia enrolled in the AVANCE Parent-Child Program and the GED classes thanks to direction from her sister-in-law. Upon enrolling, she immediately saw a new future for her and her three children. Cynthia enjoyed being a part of the program because while her children were attending the early childhood development classes, she was given the opportunity to continue her education. After receiving her GED with AVANCE, Cynthia applied to serve as an AmeriCorps member. Her service with AmeriCorps has encouraged her to accomplish her personal and educational goals while at the same time allowing her to serve as a role model for her children.
“AmeriCorps can make the difference in the future of many families, said Cynthia Roman, AVANCE-El Paso AmeriCorps member. “The opportunity to pursue an education and teach your kids the importance of an education is possible with AVANCE and AmeriCorps. I would like to pursue a college education. I feel proud being part of the AVANCE team. My time as an AmeriCorps member has given me experience, knowledge, and satisfaction. I look forward to helping others achieve their personal and educational goals. I want to make a difference in other families.”
About AVANCE-El Paso
AVANCE-El Paso is a community-based, nonprofit organization that provides family support and education services to at-risk, economically impoverished families. The program works with both the parent and the child in order to have a profound impact on the whole family while working to create a world where children and parents can advance to their potential. The most recent school year, AVANCE-El Paso served more than 1,500 parents and children through the Parent-Child Education Program located within 20 schools throughout four school districts in the El Paso region.
About OneStar Foundation
OneStar Foundation is the Governor-designated National Service Commission in Texas and administers the AmeriCorps*State grant program. The Governor-appointed Board members oversee the legal and policy governance of the AmeriCorps*Texas program portfolio. OneStar Foundation connects partners and resources to build a stronger nonprofit sector in Texas.
AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service each year and administers President Obama’s national service initiative United We Serve. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov. AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service each year and administers President Obama’s national service initiative United We Serve. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov.