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PFY SUFFOLK PROJECT DIRECTOR

Devon Zappasodi

PFY NASSAU PROJECT DIRECTOR

Tawni J. Engel

LGBTQ SERVICES MANAGER

Aiden Jay Kaplan

COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR

Maria Demauro

PREVENTION SERVICES MANAGER

Lauren McCarthy

LGBTQ SERVICES COORDINATOR

Vanessa Visquerra

HIV SERVICES NAVIGATOR

Dervis Pulgar

SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT

Alex Accomando

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Vincent Maltese

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Kaitlyn Mae Abreu

PFY SUFFOLK 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.

PFY NASSAU PROJECT DIRECTOR

Tawni J. Engel

She/Her Pronouns

Tawni serves as the PFY Project Director, where she is in charge of all administrative aspects of programming. She is also responsible for program development and grant writing, in addition to overseeing contract reporting. She supervises multiple staff and coordinates the day-to-day operations of the agency. Tawni is also a trained counselor on Long Island Crisis Center’s crisis intervention hotline.

Email:tengel@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 12

LGBTQ SERVICES MANAGER

Aiden Jay Kaplan

He/Him or They/Them Pronouns

Aiden manages PFY’s HHS initiative, as well as NYS’ HIV Hotline. In addition, he oversees PFY’s Community Education and internship programs, as well as the agency’s social media. Aiden also facilitates the bi-weekly “Pride for Parents” group, and is available to conduct professional development trainings on LGBTQ Cultural Relevancy. Aiden is also a trained counselor on Long Island Crisis Center’s crisis intervention hotline.  

Email:akaplan@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 11

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@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ex.16

Call/Text:516-514-0234

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@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 15

Call/Text:631-769-5373

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.

HIV SERVICES NAVIGATOR

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@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 29

Call/Text:516-469-0494

SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT

Alex Accomando

They/Them Pronouns

Alex is in charge of managing the office during afternoon hours. They provide clerical support to staff and help keep PFY: The Linda Leonard Center programs and events running smoothly. Alex also designs and creates all of the agency’s promotional and campaign materials including digital images that are utilize to engage LGBTQ individuals into HIV prevention services. Alex manages PFY: The Linda Leonard Center’s social media accounts and manages all social media promotions. Alex also provides administrative support to the PFY Suffolk Project Director as well as assisting clients with transportation services to programming and outside medical health services.

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@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 10

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Kaitlyn Mae Abreu

She/Her Pronouns

Kait co-manages the PFY offices in our Nassau location. She provides clerical support to the administrative staff on a daily basis, and helps keep our programs and events running smoothly.

Email:kabreu@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Phone:516-679-9000 ext. 10