How Families Empowered Impacts School Choice in Texas


At Families Empowered our focus is providing FREE, personalized support to parents in a way that honors their time and intellect. We communicate with families in a way that is culturally sensitive, in their preferred language (more than half our calls are in Spanish, and all our written materials are bilingual), and attuned to the deeply personal and important nature of educational decisions for families. And it matters – when we followed up with the families we serve after 18 months of communicating with them (FE Survey, May 2018):


said the information Families Empowered provided to them was helpful


agreed that we presented information in a neutral manner


agreed that it is important for parents to have a choice in their child’s school

1 in 5

enrolled in a new school and 93% reported being more satisfied



Since 2009, we have served:





Our work is driven by the real needs of real families. We regularly conduct digital and phone-based micro-surveys to understand how families think, feel, and engage with the school choice and parent service landscape. Families trust Families Empowered – parents rank FE as their second most-trusted source of information after friends and family. Check out some of our key findings:

For more information contact Holly Beretto at


“After speaking with Families Empowered, I learned about other school options including KIPP, YES Prep, and Harmony. I had never heard of these schools before, and so I wasn’t sure if they were the right fit for my kids. Now that I’ve been through the process, I feel that I am in a better position to investigate and consider school options”.

Adriana Roque

“The work that Families Empowered does is a huge help. As a parent I only know of the schools that I’m zoned to, I didn’t know of any other schools in my area. I wasn’t aware that there were any other options. I didn’t think I had a choice”.

Maria Sanchez

“Give time to people who call you or send you emails to educate you on programs that might be out there. Families Empowered was friendly and informative, and introduced me to a school that I am happy with for my boys”.

Maria Montoya

“The advice that I would give other parents is to educate themselves about what is out there, and the help that is available to us”.

Nora Austin

“Parents should have access to help. Sometimes, though, parents don’t even know that organizations like Families Empowered exist. Not all children are the same. As a parent, you want a better future for your kids. By placing my children in a school that sets rules, teaches them to be more respectful, and helps them to become more responsible young people, I believe I am helping them to succeed”.

Dolores Amaro

“Look for people who can help you and who are willing to go to your community and help you, and have faith that your kids will be accepted to a school of your choice”.

Odila Aguirre

“When you dare to search for a better education for your children, they will find the support that they need to reach their goals”.

Flor Montoya

“Some parents think that just because we can’t speak English it will be difficult to find resources, but there is always help available”.

Nora Austin

“I know there’s a lot of moms like me who are struggling and have problems with their child’s school. They just don’t know that Families Empowered is out there to help us”.

Gloria Rojas

“Families Empowered contacted me and provided me with websites and information on how to search for other schools near my home. After I started doing more research, I found that there were other great options near my home that I never would have known about otherwise”.

Patricia Buruca

“I discovered IDEA after Families Empowered gave me information for a few different schools in my area. Because of Families Empowered I discovered the school my daughter attends now. I believe that parents need this kind of help because it allows us to focus on our individual goals for our children”.

Justino Mares


Our work in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Tarrant County is possible thanks to the support of a wide range of sources.
We are the only philanthropic organization in the state of Texas providing this service to parents, and we do this work in each of the communities that we serve each and every day. We don’t just talk to parents, we listen. We receive support in our work from the following sources:

  • Individual Donations
  • Corporate Sponsorships
  • Grants and Foundations
  • Earned Revenue

For more information contact Alexis Ashbury at


Families Empowered is honored to have the support of a diverse set of national, state-wide, and local donors. Their generous support enables Families Empowered to provide free, neutral, services to parents so they can to understand, consider, and access all school options available to them. We connect with the community through community partners and generous sponsors.


Learn more about some of the families we serve, and see our work as highlighted in recent media.
Click here to see all of our news coverage!

San Antonio Express-News

“It’s definitely more challenging and more stressful this time around,” said Amanda Flores, 39, a mother currently searching for new schools for both of her children, who will be 3 and 6 years old by the fall. “Before, it was fun. Now it’s kind of like I’m racing against time when I don’t know what the process looks like.”


FOX 7 Austin

On Saturday, Families Empowered hosted a way for families to come together and learn about schools in the community.

“You’re empowered by education, not just in the classroom, but learning as much as you can through the process,” said Annette Van Brunt, President of Van Brunt & Associates, Inc.


Houston Chronicle

Families Empowered recently surveyed close to 500 Texas parents via its website. The results aren’t scientific, Dippel admits, but even so, they alarm her: Three-quarters said that their child had suffered learning loss, and more than 60 percent believed that come fall, their child would not be prepared to work at their grade level.