S.T.A.R. Programs

Monica Batres - Counselor Supervisor Case Manager - THPP/THP+FC​


​Monica graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelors in Social Work. Monica is very grateful to work at S.T.A.R. Programs, because it is a place where she can influence, guide, encourage, mentor and inspire youth of diverse backgrounds. Monica plans to get a Masters in Counseling Education and pursue a career in a school setting in the future. In her free time, Monica enjoys the outdoors and perfecting her cooking skills.

Jessica Marquez - TAY Program Coordinator ​


Jessica graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A in Sociology, not knowing what she was going to do with her degree. Jessica had a passion for helping people in need and knew that S.T.A.R Programs shared the same vision as she did. Jessica states that "It is a privilege to get the opportunity to work with a diverse population of resilient youth". She enjoys what she does and gets personal gratification from supporting, inspiring, and motivating youth to achieve their personal goals.  

Our Leadership Team 

Susan Cardoza-Counselor Supervisor Case Manager - THPP/THP+FC

Steuart Samuels - Executive Director​​


Steuart earned his BA in Psychology and MA in Counselor Education from San Jose State University. He began his career at St. Andrew's Residence for Boys S.T.A.R. House in 1976, when the newly formed board of directors found a vacant house in Cupertino so isolated that no one objected to a residential facility of this type. What he thought would be a “great summer gig” has become his life’s work.




Exsar Del Real-  Counselor Supervisor Case Manager - THPP/THP+FC​

Exsar graduated from San Jose State University and received his Bachelors of Science in Justice Studies. He enjoys helping others and making a positive impact in their lives. At S.T.A.R programs, he is is able to do that and feels very rewarded in the end. Exsar enjoys spending quality time with his family hin his free time. 



Manuel Prado - Counselor Supervisor Case Manager - Boy's Group Home​


Manuel graduated from San Jose University with a Bachelors in Sociology with a concentration in Race and Ethnicity. Manuel is glad to work at S.T.A.R. Programs because he can use his passion to help the youth in as many ways as possible. In his free time, Manuel enjoys spending time with family and friends and also the outdoors.  

Kalie Brewster - Counselor Supervisor Case Manager - Girl's Group Home​


​Kalie graduated with a Bachelor's in Feminist Studies, with Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Kalie has a diverse history in the social services field and brings that knowledge to the youth she works with. Kalie feels that there is no better profession than one that helps young adults thrive. In her free time, Kalie is a thrill seeker and enjoys roller coasters and various adventures. 


Vicky Taylor, MSW - Social Work Supervisor​


Vicky graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Social Work Degree from San Jose State University. Vicky has a passion for helping others and enjoys working as a part of a diverse team. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places.