Somos Las Americas

Centro de Desarollo Juvenil // Youth Development Center

 

In School and After School Programs

educational support, recreational support, and student engagement activities

 

Somos Las Americas

Centro Comunitario // Youth Development Center

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Las Americas

Our Mission / Nuestra Misión

We provide a safe place for Latino youth and families to develop healthy minds, bodies and spirits for long-term success in America

Did You Know?

  • Latinos count for more than half of the total U.S Population growth
  • In the last decade the Latino population has increased by 65% in Tennessee
  • In the past 10 years, Shelby County has grown by 49.2% in its Latino population
  • 5.5% of all Latino students in Shelby County Schools speak only Spanish
  • Of all students in Shelby County that live in poverty level or below, 28.45% of them are Latino students
  • Since 2017, Shelby county is one of the 5 counties in Tennessee where the largest group of their minority population is made up of children under 18 years of age

ABOUT

img_6495Las Americas was started by Greg and Daisy Diaz and opened its doors in 2006. 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 fundada por Greg y Daisy Diaz y abrió sus puertas en 2006. 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 programming geared to accommodate Spanish speaking students. We work 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:

  • We serve students from grades K-12
  • We work alongside ESL teachers in school to help them in their various educational studies
  • After-school homework help
  • Offer several literacy programs throughout the year
  • Summer and Winter Day Camp and overnight camping experiences
  • 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. Since 2019, we have had a 100% grade promotions success. During the non-pandemic school years, we served 63 schools in Shelby county in our various programs throughout the year.

ÉXITOS

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. Desde 2019, hemos tenido un éxito de promoción de grado del 100%. Durante los años escolares no pandémicos, servimos a 63 escuelas en el condado de Shelby en nuestros diversos programas durante todo el año.

Where You Can Find Us

Las Americas site and Administrative offices are located at the Mid South Christian College campus. You can find us here:

Las Americas at Mid-South Christian College
3097 Knight Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118
901-626-9258

Who We Are

Greg Diaz

Executive Director
Director Ejecutivo
Greg@lamemphis.org

Daisy Diaz

Program Director
Directora de Programación
Daisy@lamemphis.org


Rosario Selabe

Site Director
Directora de Instalaciones en la Summer Ave.
Rosario@lamemphis.org

For more information or inquiries on how to partner or volunteer at Las Americas, please contact:

Daisy Diaz

Daisy@lamemphis.org