Loyola University Chicago

Target New Transitions


‌Mary Charles - Director


Mary Charles M.A., a Grant Director and Adjunct Faculty in Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education, created and directs Target New Transitions. Mrs. Charles focuses her research and work on post-secondary access and career readiness for underrepresented students and taps the underutilized talent and idealism of highly qualified college students to help accomplish her mission. She is an invited presenter at national conferences, has published textbook chapters, journal articles and education periodicals. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator and has taught at the elementary, high school and university level.


Nishita Conjeevaram - Program Coordinator & Hubbard Site Coordinator


Nishita is from Ann Arbor, Michigan and recently moved to Chicago in July, 2017. She received her B.A. in Spanish and M.P.H in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan. Nishita has worked extensively with youth programs in South America and in Michigan, and has helped design curriculums for afterschool programs that aim to empower youth and help them adopt positive health behaviors. She is passionate about working with adolescents and is excited to implement public health workshops into the TNT curriculum. In her free time Nishita enjoys to sing, dance, travel, and spend time with family and friends.


Samantha Rivera - Curie Site Coordinator


Samantha received her B.A. in Advocacy and Social Change from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication. She firmly believes in the transformative power of purpose-driven, values-based education and mentorship in the lives of young people. Born in Mexico and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Samantha embraces the in-betweenness of life, beyond borders and labels. She enjoys grappling with big ideas, working out, meeting friends for coffee or a walk, salsa dancing and traveling.


Gabriella Garay - Kelly Site Coordinator


Gabriela Garay is from the northwest suburbs of Chicago and recently moved to Rogers Park in August 2017 after finishing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gabriela’s personal and professional experiences encompass working with the most marginalized populations in high school and college settings. It is important to Gabriela that all students are able to survive, thrive and achieve using just-based practices, empathy-driven mentorship and radical love. When not at work, Gabriela enjoys being outside, writing/reading poetry, drinking coffee and traveling.


 Academic Coaches

In addition to the professional staff members, we have an extensive staff of Loyola students from across many majors coaching students every weekend. Please select the school to access their profiles:

Kelly High School

Curie Metro High School

Hubbard High School