DARIEN — The Depot-Darien Youth Center’s new Executive Director of Development Kesti Aysseh has long had passion for nonprofit work.

“I did an internship in college for Goodwill,” said Aysseh, who was named to the executive director role in November. “I’ve also been volunteering since my kids were born.”

Born and raised in Princeton, N.J., Aysseh attended the University of Delaware where she met her husband, who was from New Canaan. The connection would bring her to Darien, where she now lives with her husband and three kids.

“Being a Darien resident and living here for so long will really help me in my new position,” she said.

Once she graduated from college, she became involved in advertising and worked in New York City for various package goods brands.

“Advertising is a good platform for any job you’re trying to get into,” she said. “It’s learning how to market to the community, build your brand, and brand continuity.”

Even with social media rapidly changing, her two teenage daughters help keep her up to speed, she said. The Depot’s team also plays a significant role in making her job easier.

“We have a working board at The Depot and they’re fantastic,” Aysseh said. “We have a myriad of jobs that help me and help Janice (Marzano).”

At The Depot, she is responsible for fundraising, marketing and building awareness of the center’s mission. Before joining The Depot, she volunteered at the Darien Foundation, the Community Fund of Darien, The Tiny Miracles Foundation and more.

Aysseh was also past president of the Town of Darien Firefighter’s Foundation and played a part in its sponsorship of the town’s Fourth of July fireworks.

“In doing this, I got to meet Jayme Stevenson, the chief of police and (state Rep.) Terrie Wood,” Aysseh said. “It was really how I got to know people that will help my job today.”

Through her volunteer work in town, she said she developed a grasp of the community and learned who attends town events and who likes to donate. Her passions for volunteerism and working locally complement each other in this new position at The Depot, she said.

“The Depot is a place that is run by the youth and for the youth,” Aysseh said. “It’s a perfect fit for me because I have three kids that face everything kids face today.”

At the youth center, childrem have a safe haven from the pressures of society, she said, providing an environment away from peer pressure and opportunities for volunteer hours.

“There’s no judgement here,” she said. “I love that for my kids and I love that for our town. To be a part of that is really special.”

With the opportunities offered by living in Darien, she said giving back is important.

“It feels good to give back,” Aysseh said. “We all have something to contribute.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com, 203-842-2568