Marisa Schor
CASA of Los Angeles
Organization profile
CASA of Los Angeles exists to improve the lives of children in the foster care system. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers do that, one child at a time, by making sure that these children receive the support and help to which they are entitled. Toward this end, we recruit, screen, train and support community volunteers who, upon appointment by the court: Advocate for the best interests of the child in the court and in the community; Investigate the current circumstances of the child's life; Facilitate provision of services ordered, and monitor compliance with court orders.

CASA of Los Angeles
201 Centre Plaza Dr, Suite 3
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(323) 526-6666
www.casala.org

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Marisa Schor

Marisa Schor can attest to the power of lucky accidents. A few years ago, the Los Angeles resident worked in the travel industry and was looking to get a Master's degree, but she wasn't sure what direction to take. One day, a speaker at a seminar happened to mention a graduate program in nonprofit management at a nearby college.

The idea of a career spent helping people resonated with the well-rounded Schor, whose wide-ranging interests include salsa dancing, bicycling, languages, traveling, and even knitting.

"It was the right timing," she said. "I was looking to get a Master's but I wasn't sure what direction to take. But after checking out the program, it just clicked."

Fast forward to graduation. Still not sure where to apply her new skills, Schor discovered CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, while surfing the web. The national nonprofit's focus on training volunteers to be the voices for foster children in the court system made a deep impression on Schor, and so she applied for a position at the organization's Los Angeles chapter.

Once again, it was a choice prodded by a happy coincidence — but not at all out of character for a woman driven by a passion to help and collaborate.

Since 2001, CASA's parent organization has been a Preferred Partner at VolunteerMatch. Visitors to www.nationalcasa.org have access to the VolunteerMatch database to search and sign up for volunteer opportunities, and VolunteerMatch's community of volunteers can learn about CASA during their search for the perfect place to volunteer.

Schor benefits from the close relationship every day. "I get an average of 15 matches a month," she said. "And it helps to be a preferred customer! I can always repost our organization so it's easier for people to access our information."

It has now been nearly two years since Schor joined CASA, and she gets tremendous inspiration from the children she serves and her dedicated colleagues. She says the L.A. chapter is especially fortunate to work with local Superior Court Judge Michael Nash, recently named "Judge of the Year" by CASA for his innovative approach to child welfare.

"I enjoy the atmosphere in CASA," she said. "For me, a collaborative spirit makes a big difference. Believe in and be passionate about the cause you are serving. That is my motto. It's easier to recruit this way."

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