who we are
Amistades is a Latino-led, Latino-serving, 501 (c) 3 non-profit community development organization with six focus areas: substance abuse prevention services for high-risk youth and families; family support services for low-income populations; training for health and human services providers; civic participation; policy impact, and cultural enrichment initiatives. The organization was founded in 2006 and has established itself as a leader in the prevention community by developing and implementing programs and activities grounded in grassroots outreach and evidence-based best practices.
Amistades is a Latino non-profit community development organization committed to providing culturally responsive services, advocacy for social justice, and community empowerment.
Amistades envisions empowered communities that inspire cultural preservation, social equality, and self-sufficiency.
- Foster Latino core values
- Promote deep cultural pride
- Create barrios saludables (healthy communities)
- Champion bilingualism
- Advocate social justice and racial equity
- Utilize Latino evidence-based, best practices
- Acknowledge acculturation
- Honor multiculturalism
- Trabajar con corazon (work from the heart)
- Facilitate community change
- Lead innovative, cutting-edge initiatives
- Collaborate in strategic partnerships
- Implement good business practices
- Maintain financial sustainability
The White House Selects Amistades for Bright Spot in Hispanic Education
The White House announced on September 15th that Amistades is one of the Bright Spots in Excellence for Hispanic Education. Amistades was selected because it uses a holistic perspective to support Latino families by building from their inherent strengths and providing them with the resources needed to achieve educational and life success.
“There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential,” said Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative.
To learn more about the Initiative and to view the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education national online catalog visit www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative.
“It is an honor to be recognized alongside other Latino-serving organizations, programs, and schools also fighting for educational equity and fostering educational achievement,” said Carlos González, Chairman of the Amistades Board of Directors.
According to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, nearly one in four students in our nation’s public schools is a Hispanic youth. Making sure these young people have the opportunity to achieve their dreams isn’t just the right thing to do- it’s also a matter of our shared success as a country. In just the next few decades, Hispanics will represent nearly one in three American workers. It’s clear; the future of our nation is closely connected to the future of our Hispanic communities. When we lift up the Hispanic community, we strengthen our nation. When we create more ladders of opportunity, we provide the chance for all Americans to reach their greatest potential.
Amistades places a strong emphasis on youth and family engagement in its programming within the school districts and community at large. Racial equity principles for community engagement such as demonstrating regard for other ways of knowing, doing and being and diminishing social and cultural isolation are the foundation for Amistades’ ability to make systemic, sustainable change. For these reasons and the remarkable outcomes, Amistades is a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education in the United States.
- Founder/CEORicardo M. Jasso was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with...read more
- Director of Corporate Development & PhilanthropyAs the Director of Corporate Development & Philanthropy, Claudia oversees the organization’s operations and keeps Amistades productive and on track...read more
- Project CoordinatorMelissa Gomez was born in Los Angeles, California, however has a strong tie to the Tucson community. Growing up in...read more
- Prevention SpecialistJorge was born in Nogales, Mexico, but grew up in Tucson, AZ. He graduated from the University of Arizona with...read more
- PromotoraAnahí Valenzuela was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. Growing up a few miles away from the border has encouraged...read more
- Prevention CoachNiza Zamudio was born in Nogales, Arizona and raised in Rio Rico, Arizona. Growing up in a border town, she...read more
- Prevention Wellness CoachMariela Encinas was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Growing up in Tucson exposed Mariela to the rich culture that...read more
Board of Directors
Carlos Gonzalez, Aztlan Associates
Felicia Granillo-Mendivil, Raytheon
Juan Ibarra, Anchor Wave Internet Solutions
Ricardo M. Jasso, Amistades, Inc.
Manuel Medina, Multicultural Associates
Clara Ortiz, Community Advocate
Rene Salgado, Presbyterian Medical Services
Magdalena Santos, Becton Dickinson
Steve Torres, Arizona Department of Economic Security
PAST BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Harry Kressler †