Vol. 1, Issue 3
Quarterly Newsletter
An online newsletter to keep you informed.

Welcome, supporters of LaAmistad, to the third edition of this year's quarterly newsletter! We hope that this letter finds you well. We have had a lot of exciting things happen at LaAmistad over the past several months (another successful Back-to-School Bash, a trip to the Consulate General of Mexico to show off our students' artwork, and much more) and we would like to take time to share these with you. Thank you for all of your support- your time, your talents, your treasure- and we hope you enjoy this issue. 
Our students with Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta, Ricardo Cámara Sánchez (left, top row) for artwork they completed at LaAmistad Animate Summer Camp


What's In This Issue...

LaAmistad Wins 2012 State Farm Go To Bat Award

LaAmistad After School at Church of the Redeemer in Sandy Springs, GA Gets Started

Philip Alequin Jr. Joins LaAmistad's Board

Volunteer Spotlight: Jose Perez Interviews Mike Joiner

LaAmistad English for Successful Living Update

New Staff Members

Upcoming Events: LaAmistad 5K

Board Member Job Description

LaAmistad Wins 2012 State Farm Go To Bat Award

On July 15, LaAmistad students, staff, and volunteers made their way to Turner Field not just to watch the Atlanta Braves take on the New York Mets, but to accept the 2012 State Farm Go To Bat Award on the field before the game in front of tens of thousands of people. This award is given annually by the Atlanta Braves and State Farm Insurance to a local organization that shows "unwavering commitment to the community." Executive Director Cat McAfee and several students were proud to accept the award on LaAmistad's behalf. Our students had a wonderful time at the game, and LaAmistad is very grateful to both the Atlanta Braves and State Farm Insurance for the very public recognition.


 Kindergartener and new Atlanta Braves fan Marco Juarez doing the 'Tomahawk Chop' at Turner Field during the game LaAmistad was presented the award.


LaAmistad After School at Church of the Redeemer in Sandy Springs, GA Gets Started

LaAmistad After School at Church of the Redeemer began on September 12, 2012, with 12 students, mostly from High Point Elementary. The kids come once a week on Wednesday afternoons, and we now have 14 students from 10 families. It's a small group in a relatively small facility, so we are developing a great close-knit feel as we all get to know each other. The kids love to come and play, gather together for a Bible story, spend time with their tutors working on homework, and then move on to other enrichment activities.


We have a core team of six committed volunteers who come every week and a number of other people from our congregation who have expressed interest in checking out the program and volunteering. The volunteers love getting to know the kids and some of them who thought they could only come every other week or once a month are realizing that this is something they definitely want to do every week.

Philip Alequin Jr. Joins LaAmistad's Board

The Board of Directors of LaAmistad recently welcomed a new member to share his expertise, perspectives, and experiences in supporting Executive Director Cat McAfee and the execution of our mission.


Philip Alequin Jr. is quality control editor for network operations at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.). In addition to his Board position with LaAmistad, he serves as chair for the Latin American Association (LAA) Hispanic Corporate Leadership Forum (HCLF). In 2011, he was recognized by Junior Achievement of Georgia for his commitment to the students of Atlanta. He received the CNN 2008 MY HERO Nominee award For Exceptional Achievement in the Service of Others.  That same year, Turner Broadcasting was awarded the LAA Compañaros Award for Exemplary Corporate Leadership, and Philip was part of the team who accepted the award on behalf of the company.


Phillip was born in New York and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico.  He and his wife Rosi have two sons - Phillip III and Joshua.  His hobbies include coaching little league baseball and community outreach volunteerism.


Philip joins Jay Madden, Peter Morelli, Jon Naphin, Larry Bradner, Howard Clark and Alex Hodges to form the current Board of Directors.  The Board is always looking to expand its expertise and increase the diversity of its perspectives to better understand and meet the needs of Latino students and their families whom we serve.  The Board Member job description is found below.  If you have an interest in contributing to LaAmistad in this way, please contact Chairman Jon Naphin jnaphin@laamistadfriendship.org, (404)493-1703. 


Volunteer Spotlight: Jose Perez Interviews Mike Joiner

LaAmistad After School sixth grader Jose Perez interviews long-time LaAmistad After School volunteer Mike Joiner. Let's see what they had to say.


Jose: How long have you volunteered at LaAmistad?

Mr. Joiner: 5 years.


Jose: What prior experience did you have volunteering?

Mr. Joiner: None, I was a businessman.


Jose: What would you tell people who are thinking about volunteering?

Mr. Joiner: It's one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. I look forward to it everyday.

Jose: Do you think there should be LaAmistad's around the world? If so, why?

Mr. Joiner: Absolutely, because learning is difficult enough without having to deal with language barriers.


Jose: What is the most important thing that you have done at LaAmistad?

Mr. Joiner: Meet so many great kids and their wonderful families.


Jose: How did you start volunteering at LaAmistad?

Mr. Joiner: I heard a presentation by the director and realized that the program was very well organized.


Jose: What do you think could improve at LaAmistad?

Mr. Joiner: It could be improved by having more willing volunteers.


Jose: Is there anything else you would like to say?

Mr. Joiner: I would suggest trying it just once. If you don't enjoy it thoroughly, you will get double your money back!

LaAmistad English for Successful Living Update

The LaAmistad English for Successful Living program classes reconvened after a month-long break on September 10th and September 11th at our two locations, Holy Innocents Episcopal Church and Peachtree Presbyterian Church. An aggressive recruitment campaign was implemented in July to spread the word to those living in the surrounding communities of both churches. Flyers and posters were distributed via canvassing, mail-outs, emails, calling posts and personal calls.  As of the date of this report, we have approximately 110 students enrolled at both locations.


In addition to the traditional classes offered (Introduction to English, Beginner, Intermediate, Advance and Conversation) we are now offering a Grammar class on Saturdays at Holy Innocents.  Our objective is to enroll a minimum of 14 students.  We chose to offer this class after preliminary assessments of student's language skills revealed that this was a need. Results from the new assessment tests that all students are given upon enrollment have indicated that this is a needed class also.


In addition to our classes, we are scheduling speakers for Saturdays at Holy Innocents to share tips and resources to students in the areas of health care, banking, preparing for employment, and housing.  We had an introductory meeting with a group of students from Emory working on a Heath Assessment that we feel will be of benefit to all students.


New Staff Members

We are proud to welcome three new members to the staff of LaAmistad, Inc. Angharad Chester-Jones is now serving as the Program Director of LaAmistad After School at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. 'Ms. Anna', as she is affectionately referred to by LaAmistad students, will oversee the after school program at Peachtree with a focus on elementary school students. She will also lead the Parent Partnership program and LaAmistad's push for quality social networking, while having a hand in development as well.


Jeannene O'Connell is now serving as the Education Specialist at LaAmistad After School at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Ms. O'Connell has a master's degree in education and over ten years of teaching experience. She will lead the middle school students on a daily basis and prepare curriculum for all students that closely mirrors their school curriculum.


Wesley Dennard has also joined our staff. Mr. Dennard comes from a background of working with nonprofits in North Carolina and will be serving as Development Director for LaAmistad, Inc. He will also be managing volunteers for LaAmistad After School at Peachtree Presbyterian Church.

Upcoming Events

We will be hosting a Volunteer Training session at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Room 2202, at 2:30pm on Tuesday, November 6 for those interested in tutoring with our after school program. Please reply to this email if you plan on attending.


We will also be hosting a Chid Abuse Prevention Training presented by Darkness to Light on Saturday, November 17, from 9am-12pm at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Room 2202. Please reply to this email if you plan on attending.


Finally, mark your calendars for Saturday, February 23, 2013, when we will host our second annual LaAmistad Buckhead 5K Run. Registration for the event starts at 8:00am. The run itself will begin at 9:00am, and the Tot Trot will be held at 10:00am. All events will start in the Peachtree Presbyterian Church parking lot (3434 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30305).

Board Member Job Description

As a member of the LaAmistad Board of Directors, you are called upon to proactively and purposefully direct your time, talents, and treasure towards supporting the organization's leadership and fulfillment of its mission.



Be informed about LaAmistad's mission, goals, policies and services.


Support the long and short term success of the organization.


Actively participate in all board meetings (one per quarter), discussions and events.


Be well prepared for all board and committee meetings by reviewing the agenda and any supporting materials provided to you prior to the meeting.


Be respectful and open to the potentially conflicting opinions and points-of-view of your fellow board members.



Educate and advocate for LaAmistad among your community of relationships.


Make an annual financial contribution to LaAmistad at a level commensurate with your resources.


Regularly dedicate a portion of your time to supporting the activities and interests of the organization (suggestion: 8 hours/month)


Fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities including reading, understanding, and monitoring the financial statements and audit reports provided to you.


Contribute to the organization's fundraising efforts by providing and cultivating prospective donors and board members.

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3434 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305 · 404-842-2183