35 Year Empowering Parents

Touring the uc san diego campus

Advancing the hopes, aspirations and achievements families hold for their children is at the heart of our Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) work. We are at the forefront of family engagement, one of the most influential factors in improving students’ educational outcomes for future success. It reduces student absenteeism and dropout rates while increasing children’s learning at home, improving test scores, and student self-esteem.

Our parent graduation ceremonies are a testament to our mission, as family members of all ages celebrate their loved ones’ achievements. Recently, in partnership with UC San Diego, we celebrated the completion of STEM workshops from five Sweetwater Unified School District high schools – San Ysidro, Sweetwater, Southwest, Mar Vista, and Chula Vista. Nearly 100 parents completed the four-week program that gives parents the tools to learn about STEM and cultivate their student’s interest in a STEM career. Keynote speakers included Frank Silva, UC San Diego Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Griselda Delgado, Director of State and Federal Programs at Sweetwater Union High School District and Southwestern Community College Trustee; and Roberta Camarena, UC San Diego Assistant Director of Admissions, Diversity Recruitment.

Since 1987, PIQE has supported more than 721,000 California families in 16 languages – positively shaping the academic trajectory of more than two million students. A 2018 study by San Diego State University found a higher rate of high school graduations and college enrollments from students whose parents participated in PIQE’s Family Engagement program compared to those from similar backgrounds.

During these pandemic-fractured school years, it was vital to listen to our families and respond to family and school needs. During the 2020-2021 school year, we made more than 60,000 phone calls to families in their home language to ensure they were connected to vital services as we shifted from in-person classrooms to remote learning.

“Failure was not an option,” PIQE President and CEO Gloria Corral shared with GB Magazine. “Despite economic hardships, lack of digital know-how, fear, and heartbreak, 18,000 families from nearly 300 California schools joined us virtually, partnering with teachers and schools, supporting each other, and helping their children succeed.” PIQE worked to onboard families to digital technology using what they had on hand, including old smartphones, tablets, and their children’s Chromebooks. We built bridges, eased isolation, enhanced digital adoption, and we did it together, remotely.

PIQE is celebrating 35 years of serving its communities, building partnerships, and empowering families to take an active role in their children’s education. Our journey began when our founders put passion into practice, igniting our commitment to social justice and educational equity. Today, with offices in seven California regions and a national team supporting school districts throughout the country, our mission continues! We are proud of our history and honored by all who have given their time, talent, and treasures, so that children can thrive no matter their circumstances. Follow our families and schools and the stories of success and triumph by visiting www.piqe.org.

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Esteban Villanueva