Pride for Youth Suffolk Staff

Devon Zappasodi – PFY SUFFOLK PROJECT DIRECTOR

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. In doing so, he also provides director supervision and facilitates the professional development of 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 Suffolk 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.

Devon received his Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. In 2017, he was elected into Phi Kappa Phi, one of the most prestigious multidisciplinary academic honor societies in the United States. Devon has a long and successful professional history in YMSM and TGNB program development, implementation and oversight. He was the Chair of Northwell Health’s TGNC Community Advisory Board from 2016-2017 and is currently an active member of the Transgender Professional Association for Transgender Health (TPATH), Worldwide Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Queens Ending the Epidemic committee. Theoretically oriented towards feminist theory and anti-oppressive practice (AOP), Devon incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques and acceptance and commitment therapy within his counseling work.

Contact Devon: dzappasodi@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 631-940-1964

Bryant Brown – HIV SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Bryant provides community-based outreach to young gay, bisexual, queer cis men and transgender individuals throughout Long Island with a focus on people of color. Outreach is conducted through various mediums including social media, apps and bars/clubs. Bryant is the lead facilitator of MpowermentLI’s Suffolk Chapter which is an intervention designed to address the sexual health needs of young men who have sex with men by influencing social norms, reducing the risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections. In addition, he is also available to provide rapid HIV testing, sexual health navigation services, conduct PrEP/PEP screenings/linkages and connect newly/previously diagnosed individuals into HIV care.

Bryant started at Pride For Youth (PFY) in 2010, as one of the first members of MpowermentLI’s Nassau Chapter. As time went on, Bryant’s love and passion for the community led him to become more involved where he later became a Peer Navigator – conducting outreach and providing direct services to his community. Once the opportunity arose for Bryant to help spearhead the start up of PFY’s new MpowermentLI Suffolk Chapter, he couldn’t resist! When Bryant isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family. He enjoys frequent trips to NYC to experience new things and relive some old. Bryant loves fashion and attended the Academy of the Art University in San Francisco, CA studying Fashion.

Contact Bryant Brown at 631-940-1964 or via email at Bbrown@longislandcrisiscenter.org

Jairo Chalas – PrEP SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

¡Yo Hablo Español!

Jairo provides bilingual (English/Spanish) community-based outreach to young gay, bisexual and transgender individuals throughout Suffolk county. His work primarily focuses on young gay/bi/queer men and transgender individuals of color and connecting them to PrEP/PEP services with our community partner HRHCare. Outreach is done through various means including social media, apps, bars/clubs and schools. Jairo conducts PrEP/PEP screenings and provides appropriate linkage services. Jairo co-facilitates MpowermentLI Suffolk and is able to provide HIV Navigation Services (HNS), which is a case management program designed help individuals successfully engage in HIV prevention services, in both English and Spanish. Lastly, Jairo is available to provide rapid HIV testing.

Jairo started his path at Pride for Youth as a participant in the MpowermentLI Nassau and Mpowervida programs, and grew a passion for community based work. Jairo enjoys educating his peers about sexual health and having an impact on how people use education to make healthy decisions. Jairo became a Peer Navigator and was promoted to Outreach Specialist in 2017. Jairo is bilingual and currently attends an Associate Social Work program and aims to continue his studies well into his future.

Contact Jairo Chalas at 631-940-1964 or via email at jbrito@longislandcrisiscenter.org

 

 Elmer Flores – LGBTQ SERVICES COORDINATOR

He/Him Pronouns

¡Yo Hablo Español!

Elmer provides personalized counseling to individual clients and their families with a focus on the Hispanic/Latinx community in both Suffolk and Nassau counties. He co-facilitates the Suffolk chapter of MpowerVida and ensures that the group is meeting the psycho-educational needs of high risk young gay/bi/queer men and trans individuals who are Hispanic/Latinx. In addition, he is available to provide case management services in both English and Spanish. Some case management services offered include but are not limited to; engagement into HIV prevention services for those whom are at risk, linkage to treatment and adherence support for those living with HIV and legal navigation support for immigration/asylum needs via community partnerships.

Elmer graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelors in Political Science. Throughout his undergraduate career, Elmer had developed a passion for advocacy and education with a particular focus in working with under-served communities. That passion had driven him to get involved in community affairs and political campaigns across the NYC metropolitan region. Elmer has interned for government agencies such as the Division of Human Rights and the Suffolk County Legislature which has allowed him to further develop his passion in community advocacy. Elmer has prior experience working with underserved populations, latinx immigrant populations and survivors of domestic violence. In his down time, Elmer loves exploring NY nightlife, hanging with friends and family, and focusing on self-care!

Contact Elmer Flores at 631-940-1964 or via email at Eflores@longislandcrisiscenter.org

 

Ansernis De Los Santos  – HIV SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Ansernis provides confidential HIV testing for PFY The Linda Leonard Center and our Adult Sexual Health Testing program in Suffolk. As an HIV Services Navigator, he offers initial PrEP/PEP screenings, linkages to HIV medical services and STI linkages. He is the lead facilitator for MpowerVida Suffolk, a Latinx social group for Spanish speaking and bilingual LGBTQ identified peoples ages 17-30. In addition, Ansernis does community and social media outreach for these services with a particular focus on engaging young gay/bi/queer men and transgender individuals of color.

Ansernis joined Pride for Youth with the main drive to do his part in ending stigma related to HIV/AIDS. He has a passion and pride for LGBTQ culture and wants to give back to his community. Whether it’s through providing direct HIV related services or being an open ear for clients, Ansernis prides himself on creating a warm and supportive space for fellow community members. In his pastime, he enjoys eating, shopping and having social gatherings with friends. Ansernis also has a massive obsession with pineapples due to their symbolization of warmth, welcome and friendship.

Contact Ansernis De Los Santos at 631-940-1964 or via email at adelossantos@longislandcrisiscenter.org