Familia Adelante/Family Forward

About Familia Adelante/Family Forward

The Familia Adelante/Family Forward collaboration partners with families to set and achieve goals in the areas of economic stability, family well-being, and educational progress. Mercy Center has served as the lead agency since Familia Adelante began in 2017, alongside Qualitas of Life Foundation, the Fiver Foundation for Children, and Mindfulness Practitioner Maritza Puello (who replaced Tanya Valle as of July 2021.)

​The team works from a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach, recognizing the determination of immigrant families to offer a better future to their children amidst the myriad challenges they face living in the South Bronx.

History and Growth

The Familia Adelante collaboration grew out of Mercy Center’s decade-long Family Development Program in 2017, when the Pascale Sykes Foundation offered the opportunity to integrate the Whole Family Approach, a family-led strategy that provides adults and children in a family with the tools to set, plan for, and achieve their goals together. (See: https://www.wholefamilyapproach.org/) The Pascale Sykes Foundation made a 5-year commitment to Mercy Center and Familia Adelante, recognizing that a sustained investment in working families would develop the relationships that bear fruit over time.

At the end of 2019, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation awarded a “Deep Impact” Grant to Mercy Center to support Familia Adelante’s two-generational work. Rooted in the principles of the Ascend 2- Gen approach at the Aspen Institute (See: https://www.ascend.aspeninstitute.org/2gen-approach/), the ongoing coaching of both adults and children in a family has offered encouragement to families to concretize goals and chase their dreams.

Familia Adelante has grown from its initial 20 families to over 100, who are each connected with a Mercy Center-based Family Worker.


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many families struggled with illness, loss of employment, grief, and the confusing maze of online education. Familia Adelante provided community and connection during the challenges of the pandemic, as families supported one another by learning Zoom skills and other virtual platforms, helped Mercy Center staff unload boxes of food donations, and accompanied one another through sickness and heartache.

Familia Adelante families have opened bank accounts, practiced mindfulness as couples and in small groups, started small businesses, learned new ways to parent and connect with their children, and sent their children off to college. Mercy Center is proud to partner with the families of Familia Adelante, and we’re excited to see what they do next!


Thanks to our supporters!

We are very grateful for the generosity of the individuals, groups, businesses, foundations, and friends that partner with us to provide education, family, civic, social, and economic programs to the residents of the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx. Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of the women, men and families that reside in our community. 

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