In School and After School Programs

Reading, tutoring, ESL, School Support

 

Somos Las Americas

Centro Comunitario // Youth Development Center

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Las Americas

Our Mission / Nuestra Misión

Las Americas exists to serve and develop functional and successful Latino youth and children of all ages and to help them make a smooth transition into the American school system and lifestyle, here in Memphis and its surrounding areas; by empowering them through outreach, missions, recreational, and educational programs all with the purpose of sharing the love of God.

Did You Know?

  • Tennessee has the 3rd fastest growing Latino population in the nation.
  • 10% of all Kindergartners in the state of Tennessee are Latino.
  • Memphis has the 2nd largest Latino population in the state (nearly 100,000)
  • There were 6,761 Latino children in Shelby County in the year 2000; we are told that has increased by 13%.

ABOUT

img_6495Las Americas was started by Greg and Daisy Diaz in 2004. However, the vision to do this work was planted in Greg’s heart many years earlier in a completely different city. When Pastor Diaz came to the U.S., he was just 12 years old. His mother flew him into Houston from Mexico City on Friday night, and he was in class at Memorial High School by the following Wednesday morning. There he found himself in the same situation that many latino youth encounter in Memphis today. Very few people spoke the language he was most comfortable speaking, and very few understood how confusing, difficult, heartbreaking, and hopeless he felt every day. Just imagine going to class at your school, listening intently to the teacher, eagerly working on your assignments at home, then turning them in, only to receive a failing grade from an irritated teacher asking why you didn’t follow directions. That was the reality Greg Diaz faced then and so many students face now in Memphis.

At that early age, in the midst of the pain and suffering of trying to be successful at school, he made a promise to God. If he was ever given the opportunity, he would help kids and youth that were in those same shoes.

Today at Las Americas, Greg, Daisy, and the rest of their team serve 300 of them a day…many of them who share the same experiences and feelings that he did at just 12 years old.

NUESTRA HISTORIA

12553018_1288868037805795_4070231949200917835_nLas Américas fue iniciado por Greg y Daisy Díaz en 2004. Sin embargo, la visión para hacer este trabajo fue plantada en el corazón de Greg muchos años antes en una ciudad completamente diferente. Cuando Pastor Díaz llegó a los Estados Unidos, tenía sólo 12 años. Su madre lo trasladó a Houston desde El Districto Federal de México el viernes por la noche y estuvo en la clase en la Escuela Secundaria Memorial de Houston el miércoles siguiente por la mañana. Allí se encontró en la misma situación que muchos jóvenes latinos encuentran hoy en Memphis. Muy pocas personas hablaban el idioma en el que estaba más cómodo hablando y muy pocos comprendían lo confuso, difícil, desgarrador y desesperanzado que sentía cada día. Imagínate ir a clase en tu escuela, escuchando atentamente al maestro, trabajando con entusiasmo en tus tareas en casa, luego entregándolas sólo para recibir una calificación reprobatoria de un maestro irritado preguntando por qué no siguió las instrucciones. Esa fue la realidad que Greg Diaz enfrentó entonces y que tantos estudiantes se enfrentan ahora en Memphis.

A esa temprana edad, en medio del dolor y el sufrimiento de tratar de tener éxito en la escuela, hizo una promesa a Dios. Si alguna vez se le diera la oportunidad, ayudaría a los niños y jóvenes que estaban en los mismos zapatos.

Hoy en Las Américas, Greg, Daisy y el resto de su equipo sirven a 300 de ellos al día … muchos de ellos que comparten las mismas experiencias y los mismos sentimientos que tuvo a sólo 12 años de edad.

What We Do

We are the only Youth Development Center that helps Latino kids with their education and assimilation into American culture. If we tell a kid NO, it really means NO. They can’t go down the street to the next place. We are the only Youth Development Center that goes into 13 different schools to work alongside the ESL teachers during school hours with ESL tutoring and with the principals of those schools doing boys’ and girls’ groups and developing character-building programs. In addition, we offer after-school tutoring, Bible studies, and recreational opportunities for all our students.

Las Americas’ Programming:

  • ESL tutoring and teacher assistance in 13 Shelby County schools
  • After-school tutoring and homework help in 2 Memphis locations
  • Character building programs
  • Weekly community youth outreach events
  • Youth Soccer League (in cooperation with First Evangelical Church)
  • Summer camps and VBS programs

Success Stories

The average student that enters our reading program has a D average or below in 3 to 4 subjects; and in the 4 years we have been able to do our reading program, we have been able to record students ending the school year with a 1 to 2 letter grade improvement on up to 2 or more subjects. Out of 263 students that we served in and after school last year, only 3 of them were not promoted to the next grade.

EXITOS

El estudiante promedio que entra en nuestro programa de lectura tiene un D o menos en 3 a 4 materias; y en los 4 años que hemos podido hacer nuestro programa de lectura, hemos podido grabar a los estudiantes que terminan el año escolar con una mejora de grado de 1 a 2 letras en hasta 2 o más materias. De los 263 estudiantes que servimos en y después de la escuela el año pasado, sólo 3 de ellos no fueron promovidos al siguiente grado.

Where You Can Find Us

Las Americas operates out of 2 separate locations in Memphis that both provide the same services. Our North location serves the Hispanic community in the Grahamwood area, and our South location operates in the heart of the Latino community in the Hickory Hills neighborhood.

As of August 2018, the Las Americas South location relocated only a few miles away to a wonderful NEW home at the Mid-South Christian College campus. You can find us here:

South Address:
Las Americas at Mid-South Christian College
3097 Knight Road
Memphis, TN 38118
901-830-7661

North Address:
Las Americas at Highland Heights United Methodist Church
3476 Summer Avenue
Memphis, TN 38122
901-619-0622

 


Who We Are

Greg Diaz

Executive Director
Director Ejecutivo
Greg@lamemphis.org

Daisy Diaz

Program Director
Directora de Programación
Daisy@lamemphis.org


Rosario Martini

Senior Education Specialist
Especialista de educacion
Rosario@lamemphis.org

Jeanett Renderos

Youth Worker
Trabajadora de Jovenes
Jeanett@lamemphis.org