Board of Directors

Elijah Adams

Elijah is President and CEO of Faith Electric, a Southern California-based Electrical Construction Contractor providing high, medium, and low voltage construction services to utility, municipal, commercial, and industrial customers. Prior to Faith, Elijah was a Principal in the Industrial and Private Equity practices at Bain and Company and was Vice President in BNY Mellon’s corporate strategy group. Elijah also worked at the Chapman Company, the first publicly traded African American-owned investment bank, and Comerica Bank. Elijah received a BS in Finance and a minor in communications from Santa Clara University. He has a joint Master’s Degree from the School of Computer Science and the Tepper Graduate School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Being on the board is the best way I have found to help kids that are living the life I lived as a kid. The impact on these kids’ lives is immeasurable.

Peter Bartle

Peter is a seasoned legal and business affairs executive with significant experience in the entertainment, consumer product and digital media industries. Currently, Peter is General Counsel for John Paul Mitchell Systems, one of the world’s leading hair care companies. Previously, Peter was General Counsel and Head of Business & Legal Affairs for Ithaca Holdings, LLC, an entertainment company focused on talent management, music and other related businesses, and a corporate attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP. Early in his career, Peter served as an infantry and special operations officer in the United States Marine Corps. He holds his BA from Brown University and JD from UCLA School of Law.

I am honored to support a program that focuses on developing the tools students need to be successful in life. It is not just about getting to college, rather it is about learning how to overcome obstacles and fostering the growth of young adults who will contribute to the world.

Katherine Calderon

Katherine is the first alumni of Determined to Succeed to join the Board of Directors.  She was also the first in her family to leave Los Angeles and go to college across the country.  At Barnard College, Columbia University, she studied Art History, Visual Arts and Economics. After graduating, Katherine spent just under three years working in art fairs at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, coordinating and executing all logistical components. Before that, she worked as a museum educator at the Skirball Cultural Center and has experience in the education department of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Today, Katherine works with The Cultivist, an art membership club, as the West Coast Event Manager & Member Liaison planning private events for art enthusiasts in Los Angeles and San Francisco. She is proud to serve on the board and give back to DTS!

As a voice on this board and an alumna of DTS, I feel very strongly about the impact this program has on students and their families. I started as a student with DTS in 9th grade. They saw potential in me and my work ethic; they saw that, with additional resources, I could achieve more. From then, my weekends and summers were fully booked with programs that would build my resume as well as my personal and professional growth. I stepped into my role as a college student, across the country from my family, feeling fully prepared and supported, academically, mentally and financially. Now as an adult, I am determined to give back and support students who are like me in any way I can. DTS has changed a lot since I was a student. It is growing and maturing as a program and I am proud to be a part of this board. 

Jared Cohen

Jared is a native Angeleno from Westwood. After going east for his BA at Dartmouth College, Jared returned west for his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. Professionally, Jared started his career in New York in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. After moving back to LA, Jared worked for two other global investment banks and now works for a private investment firm where he splits his time between venture capital and private equity investments. In his spare time, Jared likes to golf, work out, spend time with family and friends, try new restaurants, give back to the community and explore the world of midcentury modern décor.

Education and career mentorship are crucial in breaking the cycle of poverty. I am excited to help DTS in its efforts to provide students with the resources necessary for them to live fulfilling lives. They will then enrich their communities and provide better opportunities for the next generation.

Abdiel Garcia

A native Angeleno and a proud, low-income, first-generation-to-college graduate, Abdiel completed his Bachelors in Child Development at Tufts University and his Masters at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Most recently, Abdiel spent the past 5 years as an undergraduate admissions officer and as Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program at Harvard University. He is thrilled to be back in Southern California as the new Associate Director of Academic Advising and College Guidance at the Geffen Academy at UCLA. In his spare time, Abdiel enjoys road biking, hiking, learning languages, and enjoying his mother’s homemade enchiladas de mole rojo.

When a program demonstrates tremendous results and also brings out the best of humanity in everybody, how can you not want to get involved? I was a low-income and first-generation-to-college student, and the life-changing impact of a program like DTS resonates deeply for me.

Kim A. Goldstein

Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She began her professional career in Marketing and Community Fund Raising at Ascent Sports in Denver, CO. In 1998, Kim left her corporate position to start an Event Planning and Marketing company that specialized in Non Profit Organizations. From 2001 to the present, Ms. Goldstein has been a stay-at-home mom with three children. She has served as an advisor and volunteer for national organizations such as The Special Olympics, Reach Out And Read, and Teach For America. She served as a member of a giving trust that proactively donated to local organizations. Kim recently completed two terms as a Board Trustee at Westmark School, serving as the Chair of the Board for the Arts. In 2022, Kim received a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension and is using this certificate as a community volunteer with various organizations in Los Angeles. She is married to Todd D. Goldstein, living in Los Angeles with their three children.

I am honored to be part of Determined to Succeed because of the unique and individual approach given to each and every student so that they can accomplish their goals, reach their potential, and be part of a community that supports and believes in them. I am continually inspired by each person – staff and students – who are part of Determined to Succeed.

Kyle Harimoto

Kyle began his career in the Agent Training Program at United Talent Agency after receiving his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois.  He made the move to writing with a pilot for USA and was subsequently hired as a writer on LAS VEGAS and HAWAII FIVE-0.  Kyle has sold pilots to Amazon, Peacock, CBS, The CW, SPIKE TV and wrote on the ESPN mini-series THE BRONX IS BURNING.  He has also written a video game for Midway and sold a feature screenplay.  Kyle co-created the WGA Staff Writer Bootcamp which has educated over 800 recently hired TV writers and taught a master class at the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu.  He currently works on NCIS: LOS ANGELES where he is an Executive Producer.  Kyle lives in Redondo Beach with his wife and son and credits the time he spends surfing and at Kron Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for allowing him to deal with Hollywood.

Becoming involved with Determined to Succeed was an easy decision for me.  I gravitate towards organizations that strive to make a definable difference in people’s lives.  Due to nationwide funding guidelines and parameters, many organizations today work to “impact” the highest numbers of people that they can.  To me, this isn’t the goal.  Sometimes, to do great work and truly change the course of students’ lives, you need to focus your energies on a smaller group.  This is what DTS does so well, it’s not everything for everybody but it is life-changing for the students that are a part of DTS Los Angeles.

board chair

Jordana Jaffe

Jordana is a television writer and producer for NCIS: Los Angeles, who has also developed projects with CBS Studios, Warner Brothers, and Universal. Before segueing into entertainment, she was a journalist for The New York Times and Newsweek. Jordana earned her Bachelors degree from Harvard University, where she studied History and Literature and was Editorial Chair of The Harvard Crimson. She also holds a JD from UCLA School of Law. Originally from Orange County, California and a product of the public school system, Jordana has a keen interest in the educational landscape of Los Angeles. Jordana served on the DTS Board for three years before becoming Chair in 2020, and is also a member of UCLA’s Food Allergy Advisory Counsel. She and her husband Mark have two children.

I love watching our incredible students grow, mature, and evolve through the years – from the summer before 8th grade through college graduation and beyond. Each one of them makes a commitment to DTS and DTS, in turn, does its part to support their dreams and change their futures.

Jamie Phillips

Jamie is a third-generation Los Angeleno and a graduate of LAUSD schools. She received her Master’s in Education from Harvard in Teaching and Learning and then taught at Timilty Middle School in Boston. She returned to Los Angeles and taught Special Education at Beulah Payne School in Inglewood.  She eventually left the classroom to start a private educational consulting practice.  Outside of her work, Jamie has been an active member of many nonprofit boards, including the Culver Palms YMCA. Through her service at the Y, she has worked extensively to cultivate and promote camping as well as parent/ child programming, fundraising, and teen programs.  Additionally, she serves as a board member for multiple schools, actively participating in fundraising, program development, and curriculum advancement. Jamie lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four children.

I want to give my time and resources to this organization because of the transformative effect of the work- it truly alters the course of the students’ lives.  From on-site tutoring and mentoring to DTS outdoors summer camp to career awareness and development; DTS’ fulsome programming addresses the needs of their students thoughtfully and from every angle. There is no greater way for me to give back than to help further the mission of Determined to Succeed.