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…

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.  

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…

Advisor & Program manager

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 Lizzy changed from upbeat and energetic to sullen and withdrawn.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…

College & career attainment program manager

Maddy Gold

Oscar*, a smart 9th grader, struggled to focus in the classroom and started to fall behind on work. I meet with him weekly and connected personally with his struggle to stay engaged. We worked together to practice strategies he could use to keep himself on task. He implemented some of the tools on his own time and after a few weeks of working together…

Advisor & Assistant college counselor

Gabi Hernandez

A student I was advising found her English class to be more difficult than she expected. She began to believe she wasn’t smart enough and rather than trying harder, she decided to give up. Knowing she felt defeated, I set aside extra time in our weekly check-ins to help. Together, we worked through complex texts and found online sites…

Advisor & Assistant college counselor

Jordan Briseno

During a weekly check-in, one of my advisees, Evelyn*, opened up about the challenges she was facing in her life. She expressed that the constant comparison to her sibling, the criticism from her coach, and the deterioration of her social life had taken a toll on her. She felt stuck and increasingly exhausted…

[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.

College Student