Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board

In early 2005, Steve was hired to establish the New Mexico branch of The Ronald Simon Family Foundation and to implement the newly formed Simon Scholars Program. He served as the branch’s Executive Director between 2005 and 2011 and guided the program towards success. The program began with 1 partner high school and 5 students in 2005, and now serves 5 partner high schools and accepts 20 new students per year. What began as an experiment has changed the lives of so many students and has opened up doors that previously could have only be dreamt of.

Steve now serves as President/CEO of the Simon Charitable Foundation. In addition to operating its flagship Simon Scholars Program, the foundation will be establishing other programs that work towards the betterment of life for New Mexico’s underserved youth. Steve has an undergraduate degree from The University of Denver and a graduate degree from Antioch, Santa Barbara. He is an avid traveler and has previously resided in California, Hawaii and Sydney, Australia. Steve has worked in the restaurant industry, Sales and Marketing, and as a Psychotherapist. Steve brings a global perspective to the local issues that face New Mexico.



Mr. Marks is a graduate of Stanford University and University of Texas Law School, is a licensed attorney in New Mexico and Texas and a licensed teacher and administrator in New Mexico. Mr. Marks taught at Rio Grande HS in Albuquerque from 1978-92, and was named NM Teacher of the Year in 1989. He founded South Valley Academy, a charter high school in 2000, and built and directed the school until 2008. He has served on many city, county and state boards, public involvement committees, task forces, and non-profit boards.


Vice President and Treasurer

Originally from the state of Washington, Melynn earned her BA from Boston University and her MA in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy from the Phillips Graduate Institute in California. After moving to New Mexico, Melynn became a New Mexico Licensed Professional Counselor and in 2001 combined her knowledge and experience to establish YouthWorks. Today, the organization is recognized as an alternative education standard and a model for helping youth build life skills, achieve their educational goals, avoid violence and substance abuse, and gain employment.