WACO, Texas — The start of school for Waco ISD kicks off in just a few days and the organization Inspiracion is ready to help Hispanic families entering the school system.
"We just want to serve the families and the children and get them started on their educational journey. I just really want them to know that besides being in a school setting it's really more a sense of community. Where they can feel that they belong and not just them but their children, we're here to help them to serve them to connect them to resources and really help them get on their feet and connect with their school," says Eloisa Cruz the program specialist for Inspiracion.
The nonprofit is welcoming first generation families who need guidance on how to navigate their first time student in order to set students up for a successful on their educational journey.
"A big need in McLennan county specifically is a need for addressing early childhood education. And making sure that everybody has the same educational opportunities to have the same upbringing, the same foundation within the school system so that they are able to carry that on throughout their educational journey," says Benjamin Gomez, the Vice-Chairman for Inspiracion.
Inspiracion offers free developmental classes 5 days a week as well as teaching them about other community resources that can help students excel.
"If I could've had an Inspiracion program in my child hood, I think that it would have helped my parents tremendously," said Cruz.
Cruz is a first generation student in her family and now she's the program specialist with Inspiracion, paving a smoother path for the next first generation students.
"My parents didn't know anything about the school system, they had just moved here, so everything that I was learning along the way, I was teaching my parents. That's something that I don't want other parents or children to have to do," said Cruz.
Much like Waco ISD Inspiracion spent the last school year virtual.
But this year they're welcoming nearly 50 families back to their workshops at Alta Vista Elementary School.
"You know trying to equal the playing field really and providing those equitable opportunities for Hispanic families to find those resources that will help them progress through that educational system," Gomez said.
Through Inspiracion, parents and children are also able to network, creating a support group among families.
"You know a lot of the times a lot of these parents go through certain things and they think that they're alone and the go to Inspiracion and meet with another group of parents that are also facing the same thing and it's like hey, I'm not alone," says Cruz.
Classes with Inspiracion kick off in two weeks on August 30th, and they're taking applications through the end of September.
They will also be having a their 3rd Annual Inspiracion FUNdraiser at Freight Bar Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 7:00 P.M- 10:00 P.M.
The funds raised from the event will help fund operations of Inspiracion.