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Change for the Future


Image of the five Villanueva chlidren who are recieving high school and college degrees

When Hugo, Reynario, Omar, Betsy, another sibling and their parents first enrolled in programs with ChildFund International in 1986, they were sharing a school bus that had been converted into their home.

And while their parents had always emphasized the importance of education to their children, the family lacked essentials such as food, clothing and school supplies.

In partnership with ChildFund and a local organization, AVANCE – Rio Grande Valley, the family slowly improved its living conditions and built a modest home. AVANCE also encouraged the five children to enroll in after-school activities and leadership programs that would help them gain skills needed to advance their education beyond high school.

“The [ChildFund] program was very helpful and supportive when we most needed clothes and school supplies,” said Betsey, one of the five children. “Our sponsors were like close friends and a part of the family. The whole family is very thankful.”

Today, two of the children still participate in ChildFund programs. This year, Hugo will graduate from high school. The three older siblings, Reynario, Omar and Betsy have completed the ChildFund programs and are pursuing college degrees.

Reynario will graduate from the University of Texas Pan American in 2010 with a degree in Rehab Services. Omar will attend school this summer and pursue a Culinary Arts degree. Betsy will be attending college to obtain a nursing degree.