Meet the Staff

Our relationships with students have an immeasurable impact on students’ lives.  Let us tell you why.

Executive Director

Mimi Neandross

One morning last year, DTS student Andrea* said she needed to talk. Her science teacher had humiliated her in class, calling her “four-eyes” when she asked for a moment to put her glasses on in order to read a textbook passage out loud. He followed with, “You look so ugly in your glasses, and just so you know, they don’t make you any smarter.” Andrea was devastated…


Wellness Counselor

Carmen Margaziotis, L.Ac.

Sometimes the kids are going through something big in their lives, and I am so happy to be there for them through those hard times. But it’s also the small daily challenges that I know will have dramatic, long-term effects. A few weeks ago, I had a student looking at the work she needed to get done over the Thanksgiving break, and she was feeling very overwhelmed…


Director of Philanthropy

Diana Monaco

When I joined DTS as a Board member, it was because I believed in Mimi’s vision and her work ethic.  Now, four years later, I am a part of the staff because I see the results and how far-reaching the positive impact is for these students and their families.  When they show you they are willing to do the work it takes to overcome barriers and create success in school and in life, it is inspiring and energizing.  


College Access and Success Counselor

Stephanie Vargas

Last summer, Drew*, who was 3,000 miles away at Franklin and Marshall College, texted to tell me he was homesick. I knew this feeling well, as I am a first-generation college student who chose to leave my home in Los Angeles to attend a college on the other side of the country. Drew, a rising 12th grader at the time, never considered going away for college…


STEM Specialist and Administrator

Emmanuel Mendez

I first began working with Cristina* almost four years ago. She had been struggling in math for years. Even when her grades began to improve, she couldn’t help but feel intimidated whenever she worked on a new problem. All those years of struggling left her convinced that she could never truly do well in math This year, Cristina’s doing better than ever before and her classmates now…


Advisor & Program Coordinator

Jackie Trejo

Over the summer, when I was preparing our Study Hall classroom for the return to school, Maritza* asked if she could stay and help me. Grateful for her assistance, I didn’t realize until afterwards, when replaying our conversation in my mind, how essential my presence was in helping Maritza feel safe and confident about starting high school… 


Advisor & Program Coordinator

Krystal Briseno

The pandemic impacted all of our students. But for Lizzy*, the combination of the long hours on Zoom, the inability to fully connect with other people in person, the anxiety, the growing family issues, and money worries, all became overwhelming. Lizzy changed from upbeat and energetic to sullen and withdrawn. Each day, her depression grew and I knew she needed greater support than our weekly…


[The staff] treats everyone equally and gives us the same opportunities to succeed, showing that (and this is going to sound corny) they love us all equally. It is not really a program but a family.

Isaiah
College Student