Mother/Daughter, Father/Son

Creating a hope and a future

The Mother-Daughter/Father-Son Program is an innovative program which helps young girls and boys and their parent/guardians to create their own hope and bright futures.

In 1986, the Mother-Daughter Program was developed at the University of Texas at El Paso with the express purpose of empowering young Hispanic women. This rapidly growing segment of our nation’s population has long been challenged by chronic academics under achievement leading to low paying jobs in the work force.

Concerned individuals from UTEP, the YWCA, El Paso’s school districts and the El Paso community at-large saw only one clear path – education. The organizers’ long-term goal was to create the possibility of a more equitable representation of Hispanic woman in the professional careers through higher education.

The Approach

The approach is very different from other education retention and leadership programs in three important ways:

  • Fifth -grade girls/boys, rather than high school girls/boys, are the focus of the program’s primary efforts.
  • Mothers/Fathers are considered an integral part of the program and must participate with their daughters.
  • The girls/boys and their mothers/fathers learn about their many life options by seeing success firsthand in successful Hispanic university students and career women from every walk of life who participate in the program as role models.

How the Program works: Goals and Activities

Setting goals is essential to success. The Mother-Daughter Program works hard to impart the habit of goal-setting to its participants. At the same time, organizers know that goal-setting is equally important to the program itself.

The Mother-Daughter Program organizes activities for the girls and their mothers around four broad goals:

1. Build the girls’ self-esteem. Encourage them to complete their high school education and to raise their expectations of attending college.

2. Orient the girls/boys to higher education and professional careers.

3. Improve the quality of preparation for higher education by providing academic and life-skills training.

4. Increase parental commitment to higher education by involving the mothers/fathers as well as the daughters in the education decision-making process.

The 400 to 500 Mother-Daughter/Father-Son teams meet on Saturday four times a year while the girls/boys are in fifth grade. Activities are planned around four important areas of development- academics, personal, career, and community life. Sessions are held at the university, the schools or in the local community.