Alcanzando Inc. 501(c)(3)
For Mapy Chavez Askins and her sister, Antuanete Chavez, working as a team has been crucial to the success of their autism-focused nonprofit, Alcanzando. “With us, it’s not just one set of eyes,” says Mapy.
At Alcanzando, Mapy concentrates on the big picture – long-term goals, grant-writing and developing new programs – while Antuanete is an expert in the day-to-day, working directly with Spanish-speaking families who desperately need Alcanzando’s services. Each day, Antuanete helps families develop long-term communication and social skills learning objectives for their children with autism. She guides them to create better eating and sleeping patterns. And she serves as a compassionate counselor, walking families through difficult moments during the day. “I have a background in psychology and Mapy has a background in education. Combine these together, and it’s a great mix for our families and their children.”
In 2008, the two sisters launched their nonprofit out of their grandparents’ home in Peru. They transformed their grandfather’s office into a visitation room, setting up a little space on the carpet with toys and learning activities. Mapy, the pragmatic elder sister, insisted they would only ever work with six families a year. Today, more than 13 years later, the pair have helped more than 6,000 families across South America, Latin America, the United States and Spain.
Antuanete likes to remind Mapy of those early days. “Mapy said we would only help six kids,” she says, teasing. “Now, Alcanzando works with approximately 30 families a day!
Pictured, from left: Mapy Chavez Askins, Antuanete Chavez