Casa de Amistad started out by helping three local chidren. Quickly, we became a community outreach program—helping underserved youth and families become stronger through tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment activities. We help students lay solid foundations on which they can build a brighter future for themselves.
Since our founding in 2001, we have made a profound impact in the North San Diego County community. Casa’s programs continuously demonstrate increased numbers of students passing educational milestones, graduating from high school, enrolling in universities, community colleges, and career training programs.
For over two decades now, Casa de Amistad has been a trusted community leader and resource in the San Diego community. Under Nicole’s leadership, Casa has developed and launched many new and innovative programs, adopted modern education methods, and built numerous strategic partnerships with local organizations, aligned in our mission to build successful outcomes for students.
Today, we proudly serve 255 students, K through 12, on a weekly basis. Youth receive free assistance from over 225 volunteers who consistently work with our students. So far, we distributed more than $250,000 through our Future Leaders Scholarship Program. And we are just getting started.
There is still a lot of work ahead of us. For as many underserved students as possible, we are opening doors to good employment, expanding future career possibilities, and increasing long-term earning potential. We envision a bountiful future for generations to come.
One of the biggest goals for Casa is to scale our radius of positive influence. We are looking to expand to other neighborhoods, where we can continue to offer our service model to better serve the North County community in need.
Founded in 1997
225 volunteers providing free academic mentoring
100% of students graduating high school
100% of students enrolled in post-secondary education
More than $300,000
distributed through our Future Leaders Scholarship Program
Nicole has been with Casa de Amistad since 2006. During her tenure, she has extended Casa de Amistad’s outreach into the community. Under her leadership, Casa de Amistad has been able to offer many new and innovative programs. She has also created numerous strategic partnerships with other local nonprofit organizations.
Nicole has worked in education in both the United States and Mexico. She has received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Oregon and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, San Marcos. She also holds a M.A. degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. When Nicole was seven years old, she wanted to be a teacher.
In her free time, Nicole enjoys going to the beautiful beaches in Cardiff and Encinitas with her husband, daughter and son. She also enjoys reading and gardening.
Catalina has been working at Casa de Amistad since 2011. In that time, she has worked as our Program Assistant, Parent Coordinator and is now our Associate Director. Catalina is a graduate of California State University, San Marcos with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. She has also earned a BLCAD teaching credential.
In 1997, Catalina was one of the first Casa de Amistad students. She completed her homework with a handful of other students and a few volunteers. Her best memory of Casa de Amistad was the relationship she developed with her volunteer, and she fondly recalls the field trips to visit local colleges.
Catalina thoroughly enjoys working as our Parent Coordinator, communicating with and engaging the parents at Casa de Amistad. Catalina appreciates her role in creating a space for parents to feel comfortable and secure. When Catalina was in second grade, she wanted to be a teacher. In Catalina’s free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.
Corey first joined the Casa team in the summer of 2018 as the Encinitas Site Coordinator and Pre-K Program Teacher before working in her current role as the Program Coordinator. A San Diego native and longtime resident of Solana Beach whose three children attended school here, she loves supporting the Casa volunteers, and working with the children and families in her community through her work at Casa.
Before working at Casa de Amistad, Corey served in various roles in the Solana Beach School District including guest teacher for five years, and Skyline Co-Site President for the Solana Beach Schools Foundation. She also previously worked as an elementary school teacher with a focus on second language learners, a writer, and in nonprofit program administration. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from National University. When she was in second grade, she wanted to be a teacher.
In her free time, her favorite activities are spending time with her husband and three sons, playing tennis, traveling, and reading.
Born and raised in San Diego, Linda has a strong connection to the San Diego community. She recently joined the Casa family as the Student Coordinator in May 2019. As an alumna of Casa, Linda participated as a student from Pre-K until her high school graduation in 2010.
As a child, Linda aspired to be a veterinarian when she grew up. Now, she is inspired to help make a difference in the community that Casa de Amistad supports. She has developed a strong passion for nonprofits, having focused on programs serving children and families in her past work experience. Linda is excited to grow as a professional, a community member and an individual through the work of her position at Casa. Linda is committed to education and her community and is always looking for events, discussions or volunteer opportunities to join.
Before working for Casa de Amistad, Linda received her MA in Education with a focus in Counseling and Guidance from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2018. She is also a graduate of Cal State San Marcos where she received a B.A. in Psychology in 2015. Outside the office, you can find her enjoying time with her family and friends. She also enjoys outdoor activities, reading at the beach and cooking.
Rosaysela Alvarado, also known as Rosy, was born and raised in Encinitas. Growing up, she wanted to be a writer and attended schools in the SDUHSD district. She joined Casa de Amistad in middle school, and as an alumna she is happy to return and give back to her community. Rosy got her bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of the Pacific and graduated in 2021. She joined the Casa team as a program assistant and is now our program coordinator. Rosy is currently studying at the University of Southern California pursuing a master of science degree in digital media management. In her free time, Rosy enjoys going to the gym, hanging out with her cat, checking out new coffee shops, and traveling.
Elizabeth is currently at Mira Costa College studying child adolescent psychology. She hopes to transfer to California State University San Marcos to continue her passion for working with children. Elizabeth started at Casa in second grade, and being in the program inspired her to help others. She joined the Casa team in 2022 as our program assistant. Growing up, she wanted to be a babysitter and enjoyed caring for her little sister. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys graphic design, animation, and spending time with her family.
Our volunteer board members donate their valuable time, skills and experience in an effort to help us keep track of the CASA mission.
Marty King, President
Ken Deremer, Vice President
Jorge Sanchez, Treasurer
Nadine Padilla, Secretary
Our organization has deep roots in our community. Casa is a trusted place for empowering local kids and families and for elevating the places where we live, learn, work, and play.
Everyone at Casa is in it with their whole heart. With compassion, dedication, joy, and mutual respect, we operate a welcoming, supportive and safe place of friendship, outreach, and open doors for everyone.
We have an inclusive and family-centered culture for a good reason: everyone is welcome. We are made up of entire families: parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, and neighbors—they are all part of our Casa Family.
We strongly believe in the power of education to transform the lives of our students and their families. Consistent with our Whole Child Approach, we stimulate and support academic growth as well as personal development.