The words la amistad means the friendship in Spanish. At LaAmistad, friendships between students, students and staff, or students and volunteers are cultivated every day and their impacts can last a lifetime.
For Latino and other first-generation students and families across the United States to thrive in their educational, personal and career pursuits and dreams.
To support Latino and first-generation students and their families through tutoring, mentoring, and programming that promotes academic, physical, and personal growth.
In Spring, 2000, Bill Maness was acting Recreating Director at the Gym at Peachtree in Atlanta, Georgia.
He noticed a group of Latino children arriving by bus to the Peachtree Presbyterian Church across the street.
He learned that these children had parents who spoke little to no English and struggled to help their children
with homework. These students came to the church for after school tutoring and their parents came for English
as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The next year, in 2001, LaAmistad was born.
In the beginning, 30 students from one school attended the program two afternoons weekly for gym time,
devotionals, and homework help. Three years later, in 2004, LaAmistad won the Atlanta Public Schools
A+ Community Achievement Award, given to a nonprofit organization that consistently delivers available
resources that impacts the school’s objective. By 2005, there were 60 students coming from three
different schools for four afternoons each week for recreational activities, spiritual devotion,
homework help, reading comprehension, a roller hockey program, a mentoring program, and a summer
camp. In 2009, LaAmistad won the Atlanta Public Schools A+ Mentoring Award for having a partnership
that develops one-to-one relationships between a student and an adult that fosters a caring, supportive
environment which emphasizes the individual needs of the student.
LaAmistad After School at Peachtree Presbyterian now provides afterschool tutoring five days per week,
reading and math enrichment, preschool education, one-on-one tutoring opportunities, summer camps,
mentoring, and sports programs for students in Grades 1-12. It hosts parenting workshops and serves
as a resource center complete with information on employment, health, counseling, legal and financial
services, and scholarships. The resource center is available to all of the students and families and
its unique library contains books and computers with internet access.
In 2011, LaAmistad, Inc. accepted a merger with English for Successful Living, Inc. For the last decade,
English for Successful Living, Inc. has hosted the largest community-based adult English as a Second
Language program in Georgia with introductory, beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of English
classes offered throughout the year.
Today, LaAmistad, Inc. is replicating LaAmistad After School and LaAmistad English For Successful
Living programs across the United States. What started as a helping hand has turned into a multi-dimensional
organization serving our neighbors and strengthening our communities. LaAmistad is now beginning to reach
more communities across the country and training other churches to facilitate these award-winning programs
the way that Peachtree Presbyterian Church and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church have been facilitating these programs
- LaAmistad After School at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA
- LaAmistad After School at Trinity Baptist Church, Mt Pleasant, TX
- LaAmistad After School at Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta, GA
- LaAmistad English For Successful Living at Holy Innocents’, Atlanta, GA
- LaAmistad English For Successful Living at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA
Click here for the full biography on Bill Maness (English)
Click here for the full biography on Bill Maness (Spanish)