The GRACE family is proud to introduce Bilingual Caseworker, Marisol Landaverde!

Originally from Irving, Marisol graduated from UTA in 2018 with a BA in criminal justice with an Arabic minor, hoping to work in counter-terrorism.

“My plan for working in law enforcement didn’t work out but I knew that I loved helping people,” said Marisol.

During college Marisol worked for five years for the Grapevine Police Department with the Outreach Center, working with families and also helping kids through the VAST program (Valuable After-School Time). She really enjoyed the work but needed a full time job after graduation.

“I got a job in finance and hated it…it destroyed me. It wasn’t a fit for my personality, the work was very black and white. I never felt like I helped anyone so after two years of being miserable there, I left and put faith in God that something good would happen.”

Despite the pandemic, Marisol let her faith guide her and soon heard about a job opening with GRACE at our Christmas Cottage.

“It was only supposed to be a seasonal position, but I’ve been here ever since,” Marisol said. “Working with GPD, I was aware of GRACE but I didn’t realize the scope of the work that we do in the community. I quickly realized that I wanted to fully invest, personally and emotionally, in this organization because it aligns with my values and goal to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Marisol’s commitment to the community and GRACE has her back in school working towards her LMSW.

“When that day came and I realized I’d had enough at my old job, doing something I’m not proud of, not helping anyone, I decided that social work is where I needed to be.”

When asked what she loved about GRACE, she was quick to answer.

“Working with the clients is my favorite part, it’s so touching to hear their story and to think that they ended up here and that they’ve given me the opportunity and privilege to work with them,” she said. “It almost brings me to tears thinking about all the lives we’ve touched. These are such incredible people, it’s my honor to help them.”

Marisol lives in Bedford with her sister and Chihuahua mix Bambi who she describes as totally spoiled, she’s also a self-described “aspiring taco connoisseur”.

“This place overwhelms me, it’s almost too good to be true. I can’t believe there’s so many people that dedicate their lives to others and that serves as a constant reminder that I found the right organization.”