Los Niños Primero is a Latina-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Atlanta with over 20 years in the fight for equal education, providing vital community services and education and leadership programs for Latino families in Atlanta free of cost.

Who We Are

Since 2001, Los Niños Primero has served as a constant champion for Latino children, youth, and families. Executive Director Maritza Morelli, one of 2021’s 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia, emigrated from Venezuela thirty years ago to Atlanta.

She is keenly aware of the challenges immigrant families face. In her 23-year leadership at Los Niños Primero, she has cultivated a harmonious, cohesive, and respectful community where the families can learn, lead, and excel. As Los Niños Primero enters our third decade of service, we are grateful to see our vision of inspiring Latino children to be lifelong learners and exemplary members of the community become a reality. Los Niños Primero’s educational and leadership programs and our strong partnerships with public schools and Atlanta community organizations ensure that children, youth, and parents are well-prepared to flourish.

What is the GEM Society?

GEM Society stands for Giving Every Month, a program in which monthly donations allows the Los Niños Primero program to offer year-round early education programs designed to spark curiosity and joy; to advance equity and opportunity for Latino children, youth and their families.

Your support fuels each child’s dream and helps to nurture confident, caring and curious members of society, one child at a time.

By joining our GEM Society…

  • You can provide funding for our quality academic, leadership, arts and culture, and sports programs.
  • Support a Latina-led nonprofit in Atlanta with over 23 years in the fight for equal education.
  • Impact the lives of Latino children, youth, and families.
  • Using our customizable donation feature, you can choose an amount that works for you. All proceeds go directly to our different educational and leadership programs.
  • Champion an initiative YOU are passionate about and make a real difference in the community

Learn more about our programs

We encourage you to scroll through our various program descriptions below for the opportunity to hear directly from people who have been impacted by our programs and the mark Los Niños Primero has left in their lives. It is our hope that you are as impassioned by their stories as we are; it would be an honor to have you be a part of the GEM Society and the Los Niños Primero community.

Extracurricular Programs

Support our soccer, arts, chorus, orchestra, theater and cultural enrichment programs for Latino children. These programs are the perfect complement to our educational programs, giving Latino students the opportunity to grow beyond the classroom setting.

Educational Programs

Through our Saturday School Program and our Summer Educational Program, we inspire Latino children to be lifelong learners. Early childhood achievements affect success in later grades, and our high quality education programs combat learning loss and better prepare the child for the classroom. Along with Georgia certified teachers and engaged parents, we inspire change one child at a time.

Youth Service and Leadership Program

Our internship and volunteer programs are part of our vision to support Latino youth beyond early education and to help them succeed in their pursuit of higher education. We see our youth as partners in our mission whose vibrant energy and ideas help support our programming, while Latino youth get the opportunity to acquire leadership skills and self confidence

Family Leadership and Educational Program

Parents are integral to the success of our mission, and leadership and educational programs. Parent programs allow Latino mothers and fathers to develop their professional and emotional skills and to play an active role in understanding their child’s development, ensuring success for the whole family unit.

Martha Barrios Mead Scholarship

The Martha Barrios Mead Scholarship supports Los Niños Primero alumni and/or youth volunteers in their pursuit of higher education. Martha Barrios Mead – a bilingual speech therapist – helped develop and implement the Los Niños Primero program in 1999. Martha was both a volunteer and board member. For 17 years, she offered her expertise, love and guidance to our students and families. Her legacy lives on in the joyful faces of those we serve.