Casa Tia Emma Non-Profit Girls Youth Community Center Opens in Mint Hill

Emma and Co-Owner husband Paul with some of the girls in the program. (Ed Berti)
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Five fabulous young girls Isabel Bustamante, Julitza Valle, Lily Valle, Jasmine Valle, Lyani Umanzor. (Ed Berti)
Emma Santana-D’Andrea

Casa Tia Emma is a Non-Profit Corporation serving young Hispanic girls and other ethnicity young ladies in the community providing them with guidance, direction and assistance in academic studies, leadership, community service activities as volunteers. The goal is to help provide our youth and teenage girls the opportunity to build self-confidence to be better prepared to enter the real world and become great leaders.

As a non-profit 501-(c)(3), the organization currently has limited resources and is in need of donations to provide the essential tools required for success in today’s high tech world. This includes computers and other learning resources. The girls also need volunteer tutoring services provided by educators and interested responsible adult mentors who want to make a difference.

The founder of the non-profit, Emma Santana-D’Andrea had a vision to help adolescents in the community, so she started Casa Tia Emma four months ago. “I hope by starting this organization we can help many young girls find purpose, integrity and develop leadership skills. This program will provide community resources, tutoring, build friendships and many other life learning characteristics that will enable the students to achieve personal goals that will assist with future endeavors,” said Emma.

The organization currently has a core group of girls between the ages of 13-18 geared to teaching them the importance of etiquette, volunteering in the community, assist with their social life, improve learning skills, all while preparing the girls to become better citizens and more responsible adults as they mature. “Life is about the choices we make, making well-informed decisions is an essential skill to learn,” said Emma.

The girls can meet at designated times after school and get together for community involvement activities, special projects, tutoring, mentoring and other areas of interest to assist the students in the achievement of their individual goals.

The organization will encourage the young ladies to learn good study habits, become more independent, and through the assistance of volunteer tutors and mentors to help the students understand class material, prepare for tests and stay on track with accomplishing their academic goals.

The girls have already participated in a farm trip, volunteered at a local assisted living facility, the Mint Hill Historical Society, plan to visit art museums, theater, and many other activities. “We consider ourselves to be a family, it’s important to share and celebrate special occasions. We would like to teach our young women the importance of thinking of others and sharing special moments,” said Emma.

For more information, please contact Emma Santana-D’Andrea at 704-996-7964, email:, or go to the website at, The community center is located at 717 Matthews Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill, NC 28227.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at, and