Pride for Youth Nassau & Queens Staff

Tawni J. Engel – PFY PROJECT DIRECTOR

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 interns, 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.

Tawni is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and has a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from CW Post/Long Island University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Hunter College. Tawni has been a lifelong ally of the LGBTQ+ community, and has been working with Long Island Crisis Center since 2008.
Contact Tawni: TEngel@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 12

Contact Tawni: TEngel@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 12

Jamie Peeler – HIV SERVICES COORDINATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Jamie supervises the HIV Testing Program for our Nassau county location and also supervises the Nassau and Queens PrEP/PEP programs. He also facilitates GSAs and conducts LGBTQ specific workshops for students in the Roosevelt and Hempstead school districts. As the facilitator of Mpower+, Jamie provides a safe, supportive, and educational space for gay, bisexual and queer men & Trans individuals living with HIV and their allies. In addition to this, Jamie carries a caseload of LGBTQ identified individual clients.

Jamie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from York College in Queens, and plans to receive his Master’s Degree in Social Work. Jamie had fond memories of attending Pride for Youth as a teenager, and returned in 2013 as an intern and then volunteer before taking on a role as a permanent staff member.

Contact Jamie: JPeeler@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 22

Aiden Jay Kaplan – LGBTQ YOUTH SERVICES MANAGER

He/Him Pronouns

Aiden oversees all administrative aspects of LGBTQ programming at Pride for Youth, including Coffeehouse, TransAction, YAAS, Queer Connect, and Community Education. Aiden facilitates the monthly “Pride for Parents Night,” and carries a caseload of individuals and families. He is available to conduct trainings on LGBTQ Cultural Competency to other professionals who work with youth, as well as provide Community Education on the topics of Understanding Homophobia and Understanding Transphobia in school and agency based settings across Long Island. Aiden is also a trained counselor on Long Island Crisis Center’s crisis intervention hotline.

Aiden graduated from Stony Brook University where he earned his Master’s Degree in Social Work. There he was awarded the LGBTQ Advocacy Award. In 2018 Aiden was accepted as a member of New York State’s TGNCNB Leadership Collective. Aiden is an active member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Educational Materials Advisory Council of Planned Parenthood Nassau County, and the Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Advisory Committee of the New York State LGBT Health & Human Services Network. On behalf of Pride for Youth, Aiden also attends monthly meetings as a member of the Community Advisory Board for Northwell Health’s Center for Transgender Care. Aiden has prior experience working with survivors of domestic violence, children who are survivors of sexual abuse and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.

Contact Aiden: AKaplan@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 16

Nicholas Dantuono – ASSISTANT YMSM SERVICES COORDINATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Nick provides community-based outreach to young gay, bisexual and transgender individuals throughout Long Island, with a focus on YMSM (Young Men having Sex with Men) of color, to connect them to the Coffeehouse and Mpowerment programs. Outreach is done through various means including social media, apps, bars/clubs, and schools. Along with outreach, Nick facilitates Popular Opinion Leader, a community-level prevention and intervention program that attempts to change social norms and reduce the risk of HIV infection, along with other sexually transmitted infections. He is also responsible for facilitating and hosting our successful bi-monthly Club Nights for YMSM. Nick can be found at Mpowerment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:00- 8:00pm, as well as weekend Club Nights, which take place every other month. Nick is also available for drop-in counseling.

Among his many interests, Nick’s eclectic taste in music is at the forefront. From Country to Pop and House, he has a strong passion for all varieties. Additionally, Nick finds great fulfillment in leading his peers, and is consistently connecting with the LGBTQ community all over Long Island and Queens. After struggling with body image in his early years, he is an avid supporter of body positivity. Nick finds gratification in empowering his peers by helping them find their own personal strengths. Nick has also attended college at the University of Albany.

Contact Nick: NDantuono@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 19

Vincent Maltese – PROGRAM ASSISTANT

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.

Vincent received his Associates degree from Nassau Community College. There, he realized his passion for hairstyling, and is planning to attend school in order to obtain his license in cosmetology. He is a firm believer in the importance of physical health, and is most happy when he is exercising or dancing. One of Vincent’s biggest role models is Britney Spears, who has inspired him to be fearless, work hard, and most importantly to overcome the hardest times in life.

Contact Vincent: VMaltese@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 10

Eric Thompson – HIV SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Eric is in charge of ensuring that new and current clients are connected with HIV preventive services, including HIV testing and PrEP/PEP. He also coordinates care for clients who are newly diagnosed with HIV or who have been living with HIV. In addition, Eric coordinates linkages for clients for Project PUSH, our collaboration with Northwell Health, to provide extensive HIV/STI testing and sexual health medical services here at PFY.

Eric has worked with Pride for youth for six years having several different positions and responsibilities. He is grateful to have such an impactful position. Pride for Youth, along with dynamic life experiences have truly shaped Eric to be the person that he is today. Outside of work Eric loves planning trips, traveling, trying new restaurants, and going to the gym.

Contact Eric: EThompson@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 20

Anne Concepcion – YHA COORDINATOR

She/Her Pronouns

Anne provides personalized counseling to individual clients and their families. She also supervises our Peer Navigators, who deliver community education and outreach under the Youth Health Advocate program. In addition, she coordinates the Young Adults After-School (YAAS) program, Ladies United for Sexual Health (LUSH) group, as well as our monthly Queer Connect events. Anne provides clinical support at Coffeehouse, and is available for drop-in counseling the first and third Friday nights of every month.

Anne is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and is working toward her New York state licensure in Mental Health Counseling. She obtained her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Hofstra University in May 2017 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with minors in Disaster Studies and Art Studio from SUNY New Paltz in May 2014. Anne has held various roles including Peer Crisis Counselor and Resident Assistant at SUNY New Paltz, and Career Counselor at Hofstra University, which contributes to her passion in working with the adolescent population. Anne began as an intern at Pride for Youth, gaining experience working with most all of our programs.

Contact Anne: AConcepcion@longislandcrisiscenter.org or (516) 679-9000 ext. 14

Tyheim Walker – QUEENS OUTREACH SPECIALIST

He/Him Pronouns

Tyheim provides community-based outreach to young gay, bisexual and transgender individuals throughout Queens. His work primarily focuses on young men of color and connecting them to PrEP/PEP services with our community partner Damian Center. Outreach is done through various means including social media, apps, bars/clubs, and schools. Tyheim’s outreach cuts across various communities throughout Queens. In addition, Tyheim provides ongoing sexual health education and adherence counseling to all PrEP/PEP enrolled clients.

Tyheim likes to think of himself as ambitious and outgoing. He has a passion for helping people, which led him to work with the LGBTQ community for the past nine years. Tyheim comes from a strong background in HIV prevention where he has conducted outreach, coordinated sexual  health preventative services and group facilitation focused on gay/bi/queer men with both Brightpoint Health and Acacia. With a passion for transgender rights, he has been a vocal ally in the continuous fight to ensure trans individuals are afforded the same opportunities as everyone else. In his spare time, Tyheim loves to travel, watch Drag shows and brunch with his friends

Contact Tyheim: Twalker@longislandcrisiscenter.org  or 646-726-2677

 

 

Adrian Morel – HIV NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

¡Yo Hablo Español!

Adrian provides confidential bilingual HIV testing for Pride for Youth, and our Adult Sexual Health Testing Program. He also co-facilitates MpowerVida, a Latinx social group for Spanish speaking and bilingual LGBT identified peoples. As an HIV Navigator, Adrian offers initial screenings, linkages to medical services and support for all the agency’s PrEP/PEP clients. In addition, he does community and social media outreach for these services and all other services that may be appropriate for someone at Pride for Youth.

Adrian received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts of Fashion Design from California College of the Arts, in San Francisco. He started as a participant before volunteering and then being hired as a Program Assistant and progressed into the role of HIV Navigator.

Contact Adrian: Amorel@longislandcrisiscenter.org  or 516-679-9000 ex. 29

Maria Demauro– LGBTQ YOUTH SERVICES COORDINATOR

She/Her Pronouns

Maria oversees all aspects of the Coffeehouse program and carries a caseload of individuals and families. Additionally, as a Community Educator, Maria facilitates workshops in middle schools, high schools and colleges across Long Island and Queens through Pride for Youth’s renowned Community Education program. She is available to present on the topics of Understanding Homophobia and Understanding Transphobia, which help to create safe spaces in an ever-increasing number of school and agency settings.

Maria graduated from the University of Hartford, where she studied Psychology. She is currently attending Stony Brook University where she is working towards a Masters degree in Social Work with a specialization in Integrated Health. Maria has prior experience working with survivors of domestic violence and children who are survivors of sexual abuse.

Contact Maria: mdemauro@longislandcrisiscenter.org  or call 516-679-9000 ex.16

Rodrigo Diaz – YMSM SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

¡Yo Hablo Español!

Carlos provides HIV testing, PrEP/PEP evaluations and provides STI screening referrals for Pride for Youth. Carlos also co-facilitates MpowerVIDA, a LatinX social group for Spanish speaking and bilingual LGBTQ identified people. As the YMSM services navigator Carlos is determined to provide a safe space for his community, empowering and encouraging members to be their best self. Lastly, he provides community and social media outreach in target communities throughout Long Island as well as community education in schools about homophobia and transphobia.

Carlos received a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from Hunter College, in Manhattan. He originally started here as a participant, then becoming a Peer Navigator where he eventually took on his current position. His interests include photography and modeling and hopes to one day use his talent to one day achieve in becoming an public figure and a symbol for his community.

Contact Rodrigo: cdiaz@longislandcrisiscenter.org  or 516-679-9000 ex. 29

Charlie Arrowood – COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR

They/Them Pronouns

Charlie Arrowood, Esq. is the Community Mobilization Coordinator at Pride for Youth. They oversee the Long Island ETE Project, which aims to end the HIV epidemic in this region. Charlie organizes community events, multimedia campaigns, and coalition building efforts to spread the U=U message and educate the community. They sit as a Co-Chair on the Nassau County Ending the Epidemic 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). Charlie is also available to provide a variety of trainings to professionals in educational, health & human service, and medical provider settings. Additionally, they oversee quality improvement projects and program evaluation at the agency.

Charlie is a graduate of Tulane University (BA, History) and New York Law School, and is admitted to practice law in New York State. In addition to their role at Pride for Youth, Charlie is the Director of Name & Gender Recognition at Transcend Legal, where they assist transgender New Yorkers in need of name and gender designation changes, and Of Counsel to Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy. Charlie is also a founding member of the LGBTQ Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association and Northwell Health Center for Transgender Care Community Advisory Board.

Contact Charlie: carrowood@longislandcrisiscenter.org  or 516-679-9000 ex. 17

Alejandro Garcia – QUEENS OUTREACH SPECIALIST

He/Him Pronouns

Alejandro is our PrEP/PEP Outreach Specialist, focusing on communities of color in the Northern Queens area. Alejandro is tasked with establishing relationships with organizations and agencies located within his targeted areas in order to get new clients connected with PrEP/PEP. He also provides clients with the vital and impactful knowledge of the services Pride for Youth has to offer that are geared to protecting their sexual health. In addition, he serves as the direct linkage between new or existing clients and our partners at Northwell Health in Jackson Heights.

A participant evolved into PrEP Outreach Specialist, like the nostalgic plot of fairytale! Since beginning as a participant of Pride for Youth, Alejandro has understood the importance of the services offered at PFY and has previously worked at the agency as a Peer Navigator.

Contact Alejandro: agarcia@longislandcrisiscenter.org  or  (929) 326-4113