Click on a Staff Members profile for our contact info and to learn more!
PFY PROJECT DIRECTOR
Devon is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Pride for Youth’s Suffolk location, ensuring that all services to young people and their families are of high quality. He also oversees all of the agency’s prevention line services that span across Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. In doing so, he also provides direct supervision and facilitates the professional development of Nassau and Suffolk based staff. Devon provides grant management for all site programs/contracts as well as grant writing for program expansions and development. In addition, he spearheads evaluation initiatives to ensure that site programs are meeting the health and wellness needs of the Long Island LGBTQ+ community. Devon carries a counseling caseload of LGBTQ+ individual clients and families. He is available to present professional trainings on LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency, PrEP/PEP, Transgender Health and YMSM concerns.
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 17
LGBTQ SERVICES MANAGER
Aiden Jay Kaplan
He/Him or They/Them Pronouns
Aiden manages PFY’s Health and Human Services initiative, as well as NYS’ HIV/STI/HCV Hotline. In addition, Aiden oversees PFY’s Community Education and Internship programs, as well as the agency’s social media. Aiden is available to conduct professional development trainings on LGBTQ Cultural Relevancy. Aiden is also a trained counselor on Long Island Crisis Center’s 24/7 Crisis Intervention Hotline.
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 11
PREVENTION SERVICES MANAGER
Lauren oversees all aspects of PFY’s Peer Navigation program, including supervision of multiple peers who deliver sexual health education and outreach under the Youth Health Advocate initiative. In addition, through PFY’s renowned Community Education program, Lauren facilitates workshops in middle schools, high schools and colleges across Long Island on the topics of Understanding Sexual Orientation and Understanding Gender, which help to create safe spaces in an ever-increasing number of school and agency settings. They also provide clinical support at Coffeehouse, and have availability for drop-in counseling the third Friday night of every month. Lauren also conducts personalized counseling for individual clients and families.
COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR
Maria Demauro oversees the Long Island Ending the Epidemic (ETE) Project, which aims to end the HIV epidemic in this region. Maria oversees all programmatic aspects of the TransAction program, a weekly social support space for transgender and nonbinary individuals ages 15-30. She carries a counseling caseload of families and individuals for psychotherapy and assistance in gender-affirming services. Maria organizes community-wide events, multimedia campaigns, and coalition building efforts to spread the U=U message and educate the community. She sits as a Co-Chair on the Nassau County ETE committee, which was established by Governor Cuomo to end HIV in New York by 2020. The committee works to do this through increasing access to HIV testing, linking people living with HIV to comprehensive and sustained care, and providing access to PrEP/PEP (HIV prevention medications). Maria is also available to provide a variety of trainings to professionals in educational, health & human service, and medical provider settings.
YMSM SERVICES COORDINATOR
Dervis provides confidential HIV testing at Pride for Youth for gay/bi/queer men and transgender individuals up to the age of 45. As an HIV Services Navigator, Dervis offers initial PrEP/PEP screenings, linkages to HIV medical services and STI linkages. Dervis is also a facilitator for MpowerVIDA in Nassau, a Latinx social group for Spanish speaking and bilingual LGBTQ identified peoples ages 18-45. He is also available to provide light case management work with Latinx individuals who may be in the process of seeking asylum, transitioning and/or need support in getting connected to further supportive services. In addition to the above, Dervis also conducts community and social media outreach for these services with a particular focus on engaging young gay/bi/queer men and transgender individuals of color. All of the services Dervis offers are conducted in both English and Spanish!
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 29
LGBTQ SERVICES COORDINATOR
Vanessa oversees all aspects of PFY’s Coffeehouse & Queer Connect programs. Additionally, Vanessa oversees the individual therapeutic counseling programs and carries a caseload of individuals and families. Vanessa is available to facilitate workshops in middle schools, high schools and colleges across Long Island on the topics of Understanding Sexual Orientation and Understanding Gender, which help to create safe spaces in an ever-increasing number of school and agency settings.
Vanessa is of Puerto Rican and Guatemalan descent. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Long Island University Post Campus. She holds a in Mental Health Counseling with a certificate in LGBTQ competency from St John’s University. Vanessa has a passion for working with the Latino community and advocates for racial equality among all populations. She continues to advocate for the importance of LGBTQ mental health. Vanessa continues to educate herself on how to continue to serve underserved populations.
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 14
TRANS SERVICES COORDINATOR
Eridian provides confidential and rapid HIV and Syphilis testing at our Nassau location. Eridian holds a caseload of counseling clients and provides case management services to those in the process of transitioning and/or need support in getting connected to further supportive services. She’s also the facilitator for MpowerHER, a social group for transgender women, ages 18-45, which meets every Wednesday. In addition to the above, Eridian conducts community and social media outreach for these services with a particular focus on trans women and trans feminine folks.
Eridian is an artist, educator, and social worker who has dedicated her life to serving the LGBTQ+ community. As an artist, she hopes to bring her creativity and art’s natural therapeutic qualities into her practice. As a macro level social worker and transgender woman, she hopes to affect positive change for ALL members of the LGBTQ+ community through social and political action. Eridian is a Delegate Assembly Member with the New York Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and tirelessly works to rid the social work profession of implicit biases.
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 13
Christine oversees all aspects of PFY’s Peer Navigation program, including supervision of multiple peers who deliver sexual health education and outreach under the Youth Health Advocate initiative. In addition, through PFY’s renowned Community Education program, Christine facilitates workshops in middle schools, high schools and colleges across Long Island on the topics of Understanding Sexual Orientation and Understanding Gender, which help to create safe spaces in an ever-increasing number of school and agency settings. Christine also conducts personalized counseling for individual clients and families.
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 15
SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT
Alex is PFY’s Social Media Assistant and is responsible for designing promotional materials and digital campaigns pieces. Alex works closely with both PFY staff and community members in ensuring that all materials are reflective and culturally responsive. Alex assists with the coordination of all social media accounts, managing the agency’s website, and development strategic program marketing advertisement plans.
Vincent is in charge of managing the office during evening hours. He provides clerical support to staff, and helps to keep PFY’s programs and events running smoothly. Additionally, Vincent is available to provide transportation for various programs and services on an as-needed basis.
Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 10
LONG ISLAND CRISIS CENTER ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Tawni J. Engel
Tawni serves as the Associate Executive Director of Long Island Crisis Center (LICC), where she is in charge of fundraising and development for the agency (including PFY). She collaborates with fellow staff in grant writing and event planning. She also manages the agency Financial Department, contributing to budget planning and management. In addition, Tawni oversees PFY’s Community Mobilization initiative, continually developing activities and tracking deliverables for this state contract. She supervises various staff in her multi-faceted role. When she is not engaged in the above tasks, Tawni can be found assisting with LICC’s 24/7 crisis intervention hotline, providing clinical guidance for counselors. She herself is also a trained counselor for the hotline.