The higher purpose of our programs

At Casa, we firmly believe in the whole-child philosophy. We apply a collective impact approach that encompasses education as well as character development to create a more meaningful, intentional, and effective way to make sure our students will be able to successfully navigate life’s challenges during—and beyond—their education.

“Ensuring each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.”

-The FIVE tenets of “The Whole Child Approach to Education"

Comprehensive instruction, coaching, and guidance

Our education methods are holistic, meaning we offer academic tutoring and personalized mentorship to college and career counseling—along a student’s entire learning path.

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Male Casa de Amistad showing his project created during an afterschool program.

Study Companions Program

A cornerstone program at Casa, we pair individually trained tutors and mentors with each child.

Many of our Casa students begin their journey in elementary school and remain through enrollment of college. During the weekly sessions at Casa, we help students accomplish homework assignments in a timely and complete manner, improve their reading and math skills, and develop executive functioning skills, equating to 100 tutoring hours—per student, per year.

Casa de Amistad student doing homework with a study companion in after school program.

DREAMS + Tech Initiative

Increase student access to Design, Research, Engineering, Art, Math, Science, and Technology.

The DREAMS+TECH initiative is to provide all children K-12 with STEM-focused enrichment activities outside of school hours. The Casa team works hard to close the digital divide that exists in our community by making technology accessible to all students and parents.

Casa de Amistad student working on a project through our STEM focused activity program.

Early Literacy Program

This program ensures kindergarten readiness, an important milestone for success in school.

Casa provides a structured academic environment and curriculum for 4 and 5-year-old children. Taught once a week, in a small-group classroom setting, experienced early childhood educators will set out to get your kids ready for school, using benchmarks to measure their progress and readiness level.

Casa de Amistad students working with experienced volunteers to develop early education benchmarks.

Summer Enrichment Program

Keeping our students learning, growing, and engaged over the summer.

‍Casa offers a fun, educational environment for students in grades K-6 to foster continued learning during summer break. The extracurricular program is supplemented by the research projects of our DREAMS + Tech Initiative and includes educational field trips such as a visit to the World Famous San Diego Zoo, and many other fun activities.

Casa de Amistad smiling with her project in our summer enrichment program that fosters continued learning during summer.

Career Pathways Workshops

Designed to assist students in discovering how they can combine both their personal passions with their professional goals.

For middle and high school students, Casa facilitates Career Pathways Workshops using the YouScience online career assessment testing service and accompanying curriculum. The workshops will help students explore and map out their pathways to future careers.

Casa de Amistad student smiling in front of San Diego State University after he discovered his passion for higher education after taking a career assessment.

Future Leaders Scholarship

Casa de Amistad awards college scholarships to all graduating seniors. To be eligible, students must participate in our College and Career Pathways program starting their Junior year of high school. Students may choose to use their scholarship for vocational training, community college, and four-year universities.

Casa de Amistad student celebrating earning a scholarship for California State University San Francisco through our future leaders scholarship program.

Parents in Action Program

Parent participation is a key indicator for academic success. Casa provides services to help the parents enhance their parenting skills using positive parenting techniques. Parents also participate in workshops addressing health and wellbeing, mental health, and education.

Casa de Amistad parents supporting and encouraging their children to further invest in their education.

The cornerstones of our organization

These pillars combined help create a tight-knit, family culture and uplifting, nurturing, and positive learning environment that supplies long-term benefits that result in a remarkably positive influence on a child’s life aspirations, career trajectory, and achievement.

Casa de Amistad cornerstone pillars. Connection, access, collaboration

The importance of developmental relationships

Tutoring and mentoring have shown to have a significant impact on the academic and emotional health of the students. Due to our one-on-one and small group engagement, many of our tutors and mentors form strong bonds with our students.

Many of them have been with Casa for multiple years, and often personal relationships between the tutor/mentor and the students last far beyond high school. These lasting developmental relationships not only effectively provide support, but they instill care, power, and trust as powerful motivators in their lives.

Turning the achievement gap into a space for opportunity

Limited or missing access to enrichment activities is a contributing factor for the educational achievement gap. Kids from low-income households, challenged by a language barrier, or parents limited education, need access to enrichment activities to  catch up in school. Casa approaches our students' transition to higher education from three angles: knowledge, services, and insights.

The power of community

No one can do it alone. Teamwork and collective action are the most powerful tools in achieving and exceeding our goals. And it’s made possible by our volunteers, staff, parents, and partners working together to uplift our neighborhoods.