Program helps families plan life roadmap

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer

Businesses have strategic plans, mission statements, goal and objectives. And now many Portales families who have been participating in a Family Leadership Institute have created their own family action plans called Roadmaps to Success.

The Family Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Portales Municipal School District, began in November with 65 parents and a 10-module curriculum for families. The program will conclude with a graduation ceremony for participants on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Portales High School Cafeteria. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony and hear inspirational speaker. Lt. Col. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch speak. Kickbusch came from a financially-challenged background but that didn’t stop her from rising to become the highest-ranking woman in the Combat Support Field in the U.S. Army.

Jennifer Saenz is one of the parents who has been taking part in the program, which, according to Trina Valdez, director of Federal Programs for Portales Schools, was funded by a $60,000 grant from ENLACE and the Kellogg Foundation. Saenz, one of the parents set to graduate from the program on Saturday, said she will put her family’s Roadmap to Success on a project board and place it on top of the computer desk in her dining room.
“This plan will help us visualize and meet our future goals,” Saenz said.

Saenz, who is the mother of four children ranging in ages from 11 years to 3 months, added, “This program has made me more aware of my children’s education and in more ways I can be involved that I didn’t realize before. Also, I found it very helpful sharing information and ideas with other parents in the program.”

Valdez said the Family Leadership Institute was open to all interested parents and has continued to draw an average of 23 parents to its bi-monthly meetings.

“This program was about giving parents tools to become leaders within their own families, so they can achieve life success,” Valdez said. “Parents have been taught things like how to read to your child, but also about family things like how to make a family budget, communication and how to be active in your child’s education in a positive way.”

On Friday, participants in the Family Leadership Institute will complete the program with the final module titled “Creating a Family Action Plan: Roadmaps to Success.” The presenter will be Lucy Cantu of Dallas.

The public is welcome to attend the graduation ceremony with Kickbusch on Saturday. Childcare will be available. For more information call 356-3705.