Adriana Manzanares wants for her children what all parents want – a school that will help her kids succeed. Her oldest son, Jesse, loves art and soccer. Academically he has faced a few challenges, but as a resilient child, he has been able to bounce back quickly. Middle child Neri is right on pace in math and reading, but his true talent lies in making friends. He is a social butterfly and can quickly adapt to any situation he encounters.
Manzanares’s youngest son, Anthony, is the reason she first spoke with Families Empowered. Raised in a Spanish-speaking home, he has faced challenges in adapting to an English-only classroom and as he prepared to advance from Pre-K to Kindergarten, Manzanares knew that he needed to be in an environment that would be conducive to his unique learning style.
Nine-year-old Neri attends KIPP in Austin, and so when the time came to search for a school for Anthony, KIPP was a natural choice. Neri excelled in the classroom at KIPP, and the campus was close to the family’s home – an important factor for Manzanares. She knew that she should apply for more than one school but wasn’t sure if there were any others near her home.
“Families Empowered called me and helped me to learn about other schools that would work for my kids,” Manzanares said. “Knowing that there were other schools near my home and how to find out more information about them was a relief because I knew that if my son wasn’t accepted at one school, we had other options.”
Throughout her journey Manzanares has learned to roll with the punches and suggests that other parents learn to have flexibility while applying to schools. She also urges parents to try and find schools that are best for each of their individual children.
“I didn’t know that there was a place where I could get help with finding schools,” Manzanares said. “It was nice to have someone to walk me through the process and assure me that I have options. I feel as though I can now share this same information with my friends, and so now I can help others, too.”