A total of $930,960 has been awarded to AVANCE-El Paso to engage a total of 70 AmeriCorps members (58 in El Paso and 12 members in Dallas). The OneStar Foundation funding will help leverage an additional $601,010 from local school districts and private foundations.
Additionally, thousands of dollars in both child care and scholarship funding will be coming to the El Paso area due to the one of the benefits made possible for the AmeriCorps members through the grant: AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive a child care benefit to pay all or part of their child care costs and members receive $5,550 in an educational award to pursue a degree of higher education. Many of the current and past AmeriCorps members are currently utilizing their educational dollars both at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso.
“The opportunity the OneStar Foundation has provided AVANCE is priceless,” said Taylor L. Moreno, Executive Director, AVANCE-El Paso. “AVANCE-El Paso now has the ability to put an additional 10 individuals to work through this national service project. During their year with AVANCE, the AmeriCorps members will gain vital workforce skills, while at the same time giving back to the community through their service with our program and working towards obtaining their educational award to pursue their dreams of a higher education.”
All members will play a vital role in AVANCE’s mission of closing the educational gap amongst low-income Hispanics in El Paso and Dallas. The solution is a family focused education program that provides young children with the early stimulation they need, trains parents to be their child’s first and most important teacher, and provides ESL and GED classes for parents to better their economic and educational station in life. The vast majority of AmeriCorps members who are recruited and enrolled are former AVANCE parenting and GED graduates.