As we welcome Women’s History month and honor women’s historical contributions to culture and society, it’s an opportunity to pay tribute to achievements stretching back to the suffrage movement. Of course, many “firsts” for women remain to be seen but the achievements continue to build and should be celebrated. Our AvantGarde CEO and President, Rebecca Contreras, has been recognized for many of her achievements both as a business leader and a community advocate. We at AvantGarde are also mindful of the ways those achievements by women - historical and recent - are paving the way for future generations.
In this spirit, we are proud to be sponsoring “The LaunchPad Scholarship Fund” – an initiative by our non-profit LaunchPad to support girls and teens in inner-city schools and challenging home environments. Rebecca Contreras - who herself was a Lost Girl and lived through a childhood steeped with poverty, trauma and abuse – strives to find ways to “pay it forward” after she was able to transform her life and find a path to success. With this initiative, Rebecca hopes to ensure these girls are not forgotten and dismissed, as often the case with inner-city youth from immigrant families and families enduring economic hardships.
Describing her initiative, Rebecca said, “I’m in awe of these girls. Not only do they face incredible challenges in their everyday lives, but they manage to excel in their schoolwork while supporting their families and bettering their own lives. They are hard-working, resilient, and have the grit that can take them far in life. But they need opportunities too, opportunities that are usually only given to the more privileged in our society.”
Later this month on March 24, Rebecca and AvantGarde will sponsor an event to celebrate these “Women in Power - Girls of Legacy”, focusing on their achievements as part of Women’s History month. The event is a private ticket only event to learn more and register to attend click here.
Furthermore, as part of this initiative - and inspired by the inner-city youth that LaunchPad targets through educational programs - Rebecca and her husband David have set up a scholarship fund for 12 high schoolers from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Austin, Texas area. Seven of these are for girls (and five for boys) who demonstrate hard work and academic success will receive college or vocational training/trade school scholarships as well as regular mentorship to benefit their educational and career-driven dreams. The Contreras Family (along with AvantGarde) has designated the first $25,000 of this fund as a matching fund. We are challenging those who want to join us in this impact to this matching fund campaign dollar-for-dollar to go towards these 12 students. LaunchPad, the nonprofit owned by Rebecca and her husband David, is a volunteer-run organization so 100% of any donation goes directly to these students selected for this program. To learn more visit LaunchPad.
The success of women in our lives and our society continues to grow, inspire, and pave the way. Let’s take the time this month to not only recognize those trailblazers but ensure that the women of tomorrow are poised to continue building on those achievements for generations to come.