Our Staff and Board


Darcy O’Hara A native Philadelphian, Darcy is thrilled to be in the position of Director at the Center. Though Darcy’s undergrad is in Business and Finance, she has years of experience leading and facilitating service trips as well as designing social justice educational programming. She recognizes the role patient and compassionate people have played in her personal journey in becoming more socially aware, and she is glad to be that person in the lives of some of the young adults who come through the center. Her personal Heroes include Dorothy Day, for obvious reasons, and Amy Poehler for her ability to be successful in something she is passionate about without taking herself too seriously. Some of her hobbies include exploring new places with old friends and recycling the same five jokes over and over.

Margarita Hernandez Margarita is originally from Northern Virginia, but she fell in love with the Center and Philly on a service trip in 2017. After coming through the center as a student three times, she is overjoyed to join the team as Assistant Director. Margarita is passionate about homeless outreach and strongly believes in the importance of intentionally encountering the person in front of her. She is grateful for the opportunity to walk with the students that come through the center and loves hearing about their personal experiences. A few of her favorite hobbies are drinking an abundance of coffee, hiking, reading, and laughing at Darcy’s same five jokes over and over.

Teena Weisler-Vega Teena brings to the Center her own history of service, faith and community, rooted here in Philadelphia and internationally. Teena works as the Director of Ministry and Service at Mercy Career & Technical High School during the day, and she will be lending her time and talents to the Center on evenings and weekends. Teena has a passion for working with young people and facilitating conversations around justice issues that affect her community of Germantown. In her free time, Teena loves finding new coffee places, exploring the city, connecting with nature, and hanging with “The Bosses” (Darcy and Margarita)!


Michelle Abbruzzese Michelle earned a Master’s degree in Social Work in 2009 from Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She is the Associate Director of Depaul House, a transitional housing program for men experiencing homelessness. Depaul House is the first USA project of Depaul International. Depaul International is a group of charities working to support homeless and marginalized people around the world. In her free time Michelle volunteers at Graterford Prison, and enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.

George Brenton Originally born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the current Campus Coordinator and Director of Campus Facilities for the Daughter of Charities, George is happy to be on board to advise staff on matters regarding the upkeep of the SVDP Center Facilities. He is taken with the dedication of the staff and the mission to expose youth to the needs and challenges of marginalized people. He is inspired by being with people who take pride in what they do – both at work and at play – as well as his father, who taught him lessons right up to the day he passed away in 1998. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife of 33 years, going to the beach and ball games as well as spending time with their dogs, Chewie and Leia.

Vijay DaCosta Vijay is a religious studies teacher at School of the Holy Child in Rye, New York. Originally from the Bronx, he has worked with youth as a campus minister, teacher, and volunteer in various places. Having chaperoned groups to St. Vincent de Paul over the years for two different schools, Vijay holds the Center and Philadelphia near and dear to his heart. He has seen how his students’ lives have been touched and transformed from their experiences in Germantown. In turn, Vijay hopes that he can always help the Center form young men and women into servant leaders, no matter what their vocational calling may be. He enjoys a good book, traveling to new places, watching hockey games, creating unique pasta dishes in the Center’s kitchen, and spending time with loved ones. Vijay lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

Dr. Robert A. Emberger Bob was born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Cairn University (B.S.), Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and holds a doctorate in pastoral counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. Bob has been the Executive Director of the Whosoever Gospel Mission since 1989. The Mission provides Christ-centered rehabilitation and job readiness services for homeless men. Bob has also served as a senior pastor, a professional counselor, an adjunct professor of urban missions, an associate pastor, and more recently as the interim pastor of a church. He has been married for 38 years to Marcia who is a registered nurse. Bob and Marcia have four adult children and four granddaughters. He enjoys camping, reading, stamp collecting, gardening, traveling and pizza. Bob loves the work of the DePaul Center because it provides hands-on opportunities for young people to impact others with the love and kindness of Jesus.

Sister Mary Beth Kubera, D.C. Sister Mary Beth is a member of the Provincial Leadership Team for the Daughters of Charity of the Province of St. Louise. She has served as an English teacher in Canton, Ohio; Northfield, Illinois; Gulfport and Natchez, Mississippi; as a high school principal in Montgomery, Alabama; and as a Campus Minister at DePaul University prior to her appointment to the Provincial Council. She enjoys reading, visiting with friends and family, writing poetry, and mentoring young adults in the Vincentian charism. Sister Mary Beth believes that the St. Vincent de Paul Young Adult Center is a wonderful place to plant the seeds of social justice and to nurture young people in understanding their responsibility to those living in poverty.

Patrick Flaherty Patrick is the current Director of Service and Justice at McQuaid Jesuit school in Rochester, NY. Patrick coordinates service immersion experiences (some to the Center) and works with students to expand their conceptions of equity and justice. He is particularly invested in supporting the voices of students on issues of justice and inclusion through working with the Mosaic Club, Black Student Union, and the Climate Club. Patrick is a Maryland native with strong ties to the MD-DC area. In his free time he enjoys traveling and hiking through the outdoors.

Gayle Smith is a teacher at Loyola Blakefield, a Jesuit high school in Towson, Maryland.  For almost 20 years now she has journeyed with her students in becoming more active in advocating for social justice.  Gayle has spent several weeks at the center with groups of Loyola students and loves to watch the change in the boys through the week as they learn to appreciate and understand the neighborhood of Germantown while acknowledging the role that discrimination has played in forming that neighborhood. Gayle enjoys running, cooking, and reading.  She has been married to Jamie for over 30 years and has three adult children who never stop challenging her to get out there and make a difference.