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PFY PROJECT DIRECTOR

Devon Zappasodi

LGBTQ SERVICES MANAGER

Aiden Jay Kaplan

PREVENTION SERVICES MANAGER

Lauren McCarthy

COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR

Maria Demauro

YMSM SERVICES COORDINATOR

Dervis Pulgar

LGBTQ SERVICES COORDINATOR

Vanessa Visquerra

TRANS SERVICES COORDINATOR

Eridian Falcone

YHA COORDINATOR

Christine Salama

SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT

Alex Accomando

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Vincent Maltese

LONG ISLAND CRISIS CENTER ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tawni J. Engel

PFY PROJECT DIRECTOR

Devon Zappasodi

He/Him Pronouns

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.

Email:dzappasodi@liccpfy.org

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. 

Email:akaplan@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 11

PREVENTION SERVICES MANAGER

Lauren McCarthy

They/Them Pronouns

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.

Email:lmccarthy@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 22

Call/Text:631-769-5373

COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR

Maria Demauro

She/Her Pronouns

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.

Email:mdemauro@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ex.16

Call/Text:516-514-0234

YMSM SERVICES COORDINATOR

Dervis Pulgar

He/Him Pronouns

¡Hablo Español!

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!

Email: dpulgar@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 29

Call/Text:516-469-0494

LGBTQ SERVICES COORDINATOR

Vanessa Visquerra

She/Her Pronouns

¡Hablo Español!

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.

Email:vvisquerra@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 14

TRANS SERVICES COORDINATOR

Eridian Falcone

She/Her Pronouns

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.

Email:efalcone@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 13

YHA COORDINATOR

Christine Salama

She/Her Pronouns

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.

Email:csalama@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 15

SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT

Alex Accomando

They/Them Pronouns

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.

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Vincent Maltese

He/Him Pronouns

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.

Email:vmaltese@liccpfy.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 10

LONG ISLAND CRISIS CENTER ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tawni J. Engel

She/Her Pronouns

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.