LAA special events manager Paola Cartay packs gift bags for families who will receive holiday presents thanks to the support of Spirit of Giving sponsors: Cruz and Associates, GE, The Law Offices of Laura M. Lanzisera, Mohawk, State Farm, Virguez Law, WellCare Health Plans, UP Advertising, Accenture, Bill Wilson and Glee Land, Lambda Theta Phi -Latin Fraternity Inc. GSU Chapter, Hispatlanta, Z105.7 and other community members.
Dear friends,
As we approach the end of the year, my gratitude from November carries through.
Thanks to your support, we raised over $400,000 for Latin Fever Ball. At the virtual event last week, we celebrated "Somos Georgia," or We are Georgia. We are grateful to our sponsors, donors and supporters for helping us celebrate this special Latin Fever, presented by UPS. We would like to thank our co-chairs, Rudy and Lois Beserra and Sam and Robin Zamarripa, for leading us to a successful outcome. If you missed it, you can watch the festive event here, including a fabulous performance by Andy Vargas of Santana. 
Also last week, we kicked off a great year-end giving season with a matching gift from a special donor. Each donation made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000! To date, we have raised $25,000. Can we count on you to help us reach our goal of $30,000? If you'd like to support the LAA with an end-of-year gift to our matching gift campaign, please click here.
Finally, so many of you have contributed to our annual Spirit of Giving Holiday Toy Drive. We are now sorting through your gifts in our auditoriums and packaging them for the families in Atlanta, Lawrenceville and Dalton that will receive them next week. Thanks to your donations, about 550 children will be gifted a happy holiday season in what has been a very difficult year.
Because of your continuous support, the LAA is ending the year strong and resilient and for that I’m delighted. I send you and your loved ones heartfelt wishes for a special holiday.
Until next time,
Latin American Association
Latina entrepreneurship
program finishes 2020 strong
Since March 2020, the quarterly cohorts of Avanzando Juntas, the LAA's Latina entrepreneurship program, have been meeting virtually via Zoom. This fall 45 women have graduated from the program.
Some 45 women recently completed the LAA’s 40-hour program for Latina entrepreneurs. This was the fourth cohort of 2020, resulting in 180 women completing the course in the past 12 months.
Another cohort is ready to start in January, with participants currently taking two prerequisites focused on budgeting/credit and the ideation of their own microbusiness. Avanzando Juntas, as the program is known, is taught in Spanish and educates aspiring entrepreneurs on how to develop a successful business plan.
“This past year has been very tough on Latinas,” says Mabel Del Valle, program manager of Avanzando Juntas. “The crisis has forced many women to take control of their lives, learning new skills and trying to start their own business.”
Del Valle says it’s rewarding to see how many women start the class with apprehension and finish successfully, overcoming their fears. She constantly stays in touch with the students through WhatsApp chat groups, texts and phone calls to keep them motivated to complete the eight-week course via Zoom.
This year, women have started cleaning businesses, as well as other ventures related to home remodeling, painting, roofing, flooring and food preparation.
“Our program goes beyond teaching technical skills on how to start a business,” says Mónica Cucalón, managing director of Economic Empowerment. “We are empowering Latinas to be confident, creative and resilient. Many have taken advantage of the pandemic to reinvent themselves, and some are planning to launch their business post-pandemic.”
Make your year-end gift to the LAA today and
double your impact during our matching gift campaign!
When you support the LAA with a financial gift, you support families such as the Trejos (Read their story here.) and individuals including our Avanzando Juntas students and our high school and middle school students. Right now gifts being made to the LAA are being doubled thanks to a special donor. Make your gift now!
Youth Services educates families
about value of higher education
The LAA's Youth Services Department will host five virtual sessions about preparing for college covering topics from choosing the right college to financial aid and everything in between. Click on the photo above to download the workshop schedule in English and Spanish.
The LAA is boosting its efforts to educate Latino families about the value of higher education.
Starting in January, the LAA’s Youth Services Department will offer a virtual five-session workshop that will guide Latino middle and high school students and their parents on the journey from high school to university. The workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.
Latino students are less likely than their peers to graduate from high school and attend college. For many families, the expectation is that their children go to work right after graduating high school so they can contribute to the household finances. Many Latino families don’t see paying for college as a practical option.
“We’ve seen many Latino students this past year lose interest in school and fewer aspire to go to college,” says Eli Vélez, managing director of Youth Services. “Many don’t know how to access resources to pay for a four-year degree, and we want to make sure they know that this is a viable option for them.”
The workshop intends to educate families about why it’s worth it to go to college, and how to do it. To register, click here.
2750 Buford Highway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30324
508 E Morris St.
Dalton, GA 30721
308 North Clayton St.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
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