ABout the Depot

Our Mission

To build confident youth in our community!

The Depot offers a connected and inclusive environment while providing essential programming and leadership development.

Our History

The Depot is a 501(c)(3) organization run by and for students. Several teen empowerment clubs, events and fundraisers are run out of The Depot as well as events and new initiatives for middle schoolers and 4 & 5th graders. Many students come to The Depot for peer interaction and to socialize, many come because they are dispirited and can’t find solace at school or at home, many come because they want to get involved and give back and many come to learn about such topics as depression, anxiety, drugs, gender identity, peer pressure, and suicide.

In 1989 a group of Darien parents and high school students saved a historic train station slated for demolition. Starting with only a dream, they created The Depot, a drug and alcohol-free teen center. The facility was renovated and dedicated to the teens in our community. The Depot opened its doors on July 1st 1990. The rest is history; a vision fulfilled.

The Depot is overseen by an Adult Board of Directors, and the youth are led by the Student Governing Board (SGB), under the supervision of a full time Program Director and Assistant Director. The Adult Board focuses primarily on adult fundraising, development, capital building projects, and operations management. The SGB is responsible for day-to-day programming, creating and enforcing the rules of conduct, youth fundraising and on-going participation in community outreach.

All Darien resident youth are invited to visit The Depot!

Our Executive Directors

Meet the leaders who….

Janice Marzano 

Executive Director of Programming

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Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of The Depot, having worked with local youth for the past 19 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved to Darien with her husband and two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She was Cubmaster of Pack 55 for many years, serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Andrew Shaw Memorial Scout Cabin.  She was also Manager & Cook at Tokeneke and Holmes School for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students.

Janice has been employed by the Town of Darien Youth Commission for 32 years.  She began working summers with the Youth Commission, running a Middle School Activity Program (Camp Menace) for 7th, 8th and 9th graders and has been Director of the program for the past 30 years.  She served 4 years on the Darien Parks & Recreation Commission and she still works with the Youth Commission working on TOPS events.

Janice was recruited to The Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.

Janice was Grand Marshall of the 2000 Memorial Day Parade in Darien, (she was State President of the Ladies’ Auxilliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the time after serving many years as Auxiliary President to Post 6933, Darien and Springdale Post 9617.)  She was awarded the “Red Cross Heroes of Lower Fairfield County Community Impact” Award in 2009,  and  The Darien Old Timers’ Athletic “Community Civic Award” in 2011. 

With a vested in interest in all of the kids who come through our door, she continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through middle school, high school and beyond.

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Kesti Aysseh 

Executive Director of Development

Dummy Item Hidden

Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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We are delighted to have Kesti Aysseh as our Executive Director of Development at The Depot!

Aysseh was a stay-at-home mom for the past 17 years. “I am eager to get back in to the work force and continue to be an active contributor to our town,” said Kesti. Aysseh fell in love with non-profit work while doing an internship at the Goodwill while in college. More recently, she has experience with philanthropy, development and fundraising while volunteering for a variety of local organizations including, The Darien Foundation, The Tiny Miracles Foundation, OPUS for Person-to-Person and the Community Fund of Darien. She is a past president and sits on the board of the Town of Darien Firefighters’ Foundation helping to raise over a million dollars for Darien’s three 100% volunteer fire departments. Aysseh also spearheaded the foundation’s sponsorship of the town’s 4th of July fireworks for three years along with David Genovese and Jayme Stevenson, Darien’s First Selectman. Aysseh is a board member of the Darien YMCA and takes an active interest in special needs programming.

“I’m thrilled to become part of The Depot team and look forward to collaborating with other local businesses and organizations to help broaden, educate and enrich the lives of our youth,” said Aysseh. “I originally was very interested in this position because I strongly believe the clubs and groups sponsored by the Depot, along with the volunteer opportunities and informative programming, is positively impacting and enhancing our kids lives. It’s imperative for them to step out of the world of academia and athletics, and be involved in something bigger then themselves.”

We are thrilled to have Kesti with us to help The Depot reach its biggest goals!

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WATCH The Depot Youth Center Video

Adult Board of Directors

Kathy Arrix

Chairman

Catherine McNear

Co-President

Jenny Tarlton

Co-President

Kathryn Doran
Ex-officio/Marketing Materials Director
Christine Popson
VP/Treasurer/Balloon Day Chair
Julianna Spain
VP/Media and PR
Lisa Koorbusch
VP/Communications and Website
Barbara Moody
Secretary
Maija Judelson
Nominating Director
Marla Chandler
Fundraising Event Chair/Winter Event
Gina Vivenzio
Fundraising Event Chair/Wine Tasting Event
Elisa Persinger
Fundraising Event Chair/Fashion Show Luncheon
Michelle Robertson, Elizabeth Hole & Jen Hageney
Sponsorship Directors
Jennifer Erdlen & Julie Genovese
Middle School Programming and Event Promotions Directors
Liz Benedict, Ciara Thurlow, Casey McBride, Erin LeVine, Debi McGahren & Alex Taylor
Ambassadors (Events and Event Promotions)

Get to know

Our Depot Staff

John Micelli

Dummy Item Hidden

Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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A longtime resident of Darien, John Miceli likes to stay as involved as possible in the Darien community. John and his wife Alison, both graduates of DHS, have two young daughters growing up in town and enjoy everything Darien has to offer. After starting his own business here, Miceli Insurance, John wanted to stay connected with Darien’s students and families. He has been staffing at the Depot for the past 11 years, during which time he has also been the DHS Blue Wave Varsity Baseball Coach. One of Darien’s top former players, he loves helping to develop young players into successful athletes. Coaching and staying involved at the Depot are important ways John gives back to his hometown and shows his young daughters what it means to support the next generation of DHS students!

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Amanda Mariano

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Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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Amanda Faith Mariano is a senior at Norwalk Community College and is pursuing a career in social work and human services on a global scale. She has studied extensively overseas and worked with several missions programs which has helped her incorporate multifestive games to stimulate creativity. Founder of The Garden Club and creator of Milkshake Madness, Amanda loves every second at The Depot and is so grateful for all of the children who walk through its doors!

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Jeffrey Taylor

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Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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Jeffrey Taylor was born in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to reluctant parents. He emigrated to the U.S. in the late 1900s and currently resides in a glass hotel on the outskirts of town. In his spare time he enjoys naming stuffed animals and playing games of ‘katz und maus’ with a pet vulture named Kevin (who suffers from acute I.B.S). Jeffrey is best described as a conductor through which solids, air, and liquids flow constantly, matched by a whorl of loosely related thoughts. He loves listening to music he can walk backwards to, and is powerless before cheese.

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Rod Ramirez

Dummy Item Hidden

Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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Information about Rod coming soon!

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Nicole Kunz

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Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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Nicole Kunz is 15 years old. She was born in Brazil, spent 7 years in St. Louis, Missouri, another 7 in Dongguan, China, and moved to Darien in her Freshman year at Darien High School. She is now a Sophomore and enjoys volunteering at the Depot whenever she can. She says, “The Depot is a nice, welcoming place and a great wat to interact with the community.” She loves to hang out with the kids during events at The Depot.

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Tyler Panourgias

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Janice Marzano is the heart and soul of the Darien Depot, having worked with local youths for the past 17 years at the teen center.

A Stamford native, Marzano moved here to Darien with her husband and her two young sons in 1981 and quickly immersed herself in the community. She served lunch at Holmes and Tokeneke elementary school for many years, getting to know generations of Darien students, and she began working summers with the Darien Youth Commission, running a program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Janice was recruited to the Depot in 2000, when it began to attract and include more middle-school students as well as high-school students, to assist with the 8th graders. In 2002, after the tragic loss of the Director of the Depot, Janice became increasingly invested in the students and took over as Director, and has since been guiding and working with Darien’s youth in every way possible. She oversees all programming and assists the Student Governing Board in all their endeavors as a friend and confidante.  She has run the summer program for 7-8-9th graders for 30 years under the Youth Commission, and she has also been involved with TOPS for 30 years.  She continues to protect, educate, and help Darien’s teens navigate their way through high school and beyond.

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Tyler is 15 years old and in his Sophomore year at Darien High School. During his free time he throughly enjoys working on and restoring cars and motorcycles.  He also loves playing soccer and spending time with friends and family. He plans to go to a college with a great business program and possibly work towards a masters degree, and right now he also enjoys working part time at The Depot. Tyler oversees the kids as they play, cooks for them in the kitchen and helps to make sure they are safe and having fun!

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