Avenue Community Development Corporation (Avenue CDC) saw the necessity of increasing parent engagement while fostering leadership development in Houston’s Northside community. The primary goals of Avenue CDC’s Family Leadership Program are to actively engage parents in their children’s education at all grade levels and foster strong relationships between parents, teachers, administrators and the district at large through establishing a dedicated parent leadership team in the community. We aim at providing each school with an opportunity to engage parents through a proven organizing method developed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Houston and Avenue CDC, and parents with a chance to learn how to navigate the school system, monitor their children’s academic development, contribute to the schools’ activities and events, and ultimately advocate for the educational rights of children growing up in the neighborhood.

Author Biography

In her role as Program Assistant at Avenue Community Development Corporation Livia spearheaded a community development program in a low-income Latino community in Houston. Livia holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Spanish from Texas State University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Karl-Franzens University in Austria. In grad school she researched issues related to poverty and inequality in Latin America. Livia has a passion for advancing the rights of the most vulnerable voices of society and hopes to empower those that are often forgotten through her work.

Jenifer Wagley is the Assistant Director of Avenue Community Development Corporation (Avenue CDC). She has over 15 years of community engagement and program management experience. She has two Master’s degrees from Baylor University and a B.A. from Louisiana College. In her current role with Avenue, Jenifer oversees the highly successful LISC Houston project, GO Neighborhoods, in the Near Northside. This project has leveraged over $25 million in additional resources for the Northside community including: attracting a new YES Prep charter school; multiple improvements to public school sports facilities and the addition of a new SPARK park at Ketelsen Elementary. She is responsible for supervising Avenue’s supportive services program at their multi-family residences and for bolstering staff and volunteer relations.


We would like to thank Capitol One for funding this project.