Our Mission

Pride for Youth is a service and an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Our mission is to enhance the health, wellness and cultural competency of LGBTQ young people through supportive services, education and youth development. We believe that LGBTQ young people are courageous, bright, creative and exceptional youth that enhance our communities. Formidable barriers such as homophobia, stigma, lack of understanding and institutionalized bias prevent some of them from achieving their potential. Pride for Youth offers a matrix of opportunities and supports that assist LGBTQ youth with their healthy development, break through obstacles to their success, and create a more responsive community in which they can grow.

Our History

In 1993, Long Island Crisis Center started Pride for Youth at a time when support and outreach to LGBTQ youth on Long Island was virtually non-existent. Pride for Youth has grown to encompass multiple services addressing many of the needs of LGBTQ youth and their families.

  • Pride for Youth created the Coffeehouse program in 1995 – the first suburban coffeehouse for LGBTQ youth in the country.

  • We began airing public service announcements on MTV in the mid 90s - one of the first mass media outreach strategies for LGBTQ youth nationwide.

  • In 2001, Pride for Youth launched an action research project, which documented that 94% of Long Island students are exposed to homophobia in their schools and one in ten have been victimized because of their perceived sexual orientation.

  • With the new millennium's startling HIV resurgence among young gay and bisexual men of color, Pride for Youth led the way to building a healthier generation of young people through its culturally-sensitive Young Men's Program, initiated in 2003

  • Pride for Youth seeded and stewarded Gay-Straight Alliances in several high-need Nassau County school districts from 2004 through the present.

  • In 2006, working with corporate partners such as CMP Media, Pride for Youth launched an employment mentoring program for LGBTQ youth.

  • In 2009, transgender teens found their own place to share their specific concerns and build pride through Pride for Youth's Trans Support Group.


Areas Served


Nassau County

Pride for Youth's headquarters are located in Bellmore, NY. This centralized location houses PFY's administrative offices, Coffeehouse drop-in center, MPowerment Long Island space, and our groundbreaking Project PUSH health services program. Conveniently located a few short blocks from the Bellmore stop on the Babylon line of the LIRR, our Bellmore location also serves as a central hub for PFY's LGBTQ community education workshops.

Where to connect with PFY in Nassau County:

Pride for Youth's headquarters are located at 2050 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore, NY 11710. Check out our full calendar of events by visiting clicking here.




Suffolk County

All free and confidential services provided at Pride for Youth's Bellmore location are available to Suffolk county residents. PFY is conveniently located a few short blocks from the Bellmore stop on the Babylon line of the LIRR, with transportation reimbursement (LIRR & metrocard) available to Suffolk county residents. In addition, PFY offers free Understanding Homophobia & Transphobia workshops and GSA support to students in Suffolk County school districts. Our professional trainings on Working with LGBTQ Youth, Making Schools Safer for LGBTQ Youth and PrEP/PEP are available to health and human service professionals throughout Suffolk County.

Where to connect with PFY in Suffolk County:

PFY outreach workers can be found throughout the summer on Fire Island, offering condoms and connections to HIV/STI testing, PrEP/PEP, HIV care and supportive services.




Queens

All free and confidential services provided at Pride for Youth's Bellmore location are available to Queens county residents. PFY is conveniently located a few short blocks from the Bellmore stop on the Babylon line of the LIRR, with transportation reimbursement (LIRR & metrocard) available to Queens county residents. In addition, PFY offers free Understanding Homophobia & Transphobia workshops and GSA support to students in Queens County school districts. Our professional trainings on Working with LGBTQ Youth, Making Schools Safer for LGBTQ Youth and PrEP/PEP are available to health and human service professionals throughout Queens County. Through funding from the Stonewall Foundation/Amida Care PFY is also available to provide initial evaluation, linkage to care and ongoing monitoring and support for PrEP/PEP to Queens residents.

Where to connect with PFY in Queens:

PFY outreach workers can regularly be found at several Queens nightclubs / bars as well as Queens Pride, offering condoms and connections to HIV/STI testing, PrEP/PEP, HIV care and supportive services.




Our Supporters

Pride for Youth is a not-for-profit, 501c(3) organization, and we are extremely grateful to the government agencies, private foundations, corporations and individuals who make our vital work possible.

We cannot do this work alone and graciously accept donations of any size from persons who want to support our vision of a better world for the youngest generation of LGBTQ people. Please visit our Donations page for more information.

In 2010, Pride for Youth received financial contributions from the following government agencies, private foundations and corporations:

  • New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute
  • Paul Rapoport Foundation
  • Horace and Amy Hagedorn Fund of the Long Island Community Foundation
  • New York State Office of Mental Health (made possible by Senator Craig Johnson)
  • Nassau County Bar Association
  • Accounts Retrievable System
  • Orasure Technologies
  • National Grid
  • Long Island Ravens MC Fund
  • Medford Chemists

Alumni Program

In early 2006, Pride for Youth established an Alumni Program to help former participants stay involved with the organization and maintain the network of friends they made while attending our programs. Many alumni are looking for ways to give back to the place that was a big part of their lives as teenagers. The Alumni Program provides the venue to contribute so that Pride for Youth remains an outstanding resource for LGBTQ youth for many years to come.

Here are some ways that alumni are contributing to Pride for Youth:

  • Speaking at the Coffeehouse
  • Soliciting donations from their employer
  • Organizing fundraisers
  • Serving on the Board of Directors or Advisory Board
  • Volunteering to chaperone special events
  • Making a donation of money or goods

Look for this page to expand as our Alumni Program grows. To get involved, contact Jill Estes, JEstes@longislandcrisiscenter.org., (516) 679-9000, ext. 16.

Our Community Partners

Pride for Youth collaborates with many local and national organizations that share a similar vision and purpose in order to augment our efforts. We have listed below links to some of our community partners along with other helpful websites that may be a resource for young people, family members, and/or adult allies.

Friends of PFY:

Auntie M's Helping Hands, Inc. BearTrek
Best Buy The Paul Rapoport Foundation
The Long Island Pride Chorus Empire State Pride Agenda
Nassau County Youth Board LI Fund for Women and Girls
Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival  

Resources:

BiasHELP Long Island

Long Island Association for AIDS Care

Gay & Lesbian Switchboard of Long Island

Planned Parenthood

Pride Alliance of Long Island



Contact Us

By mail: Pride for Youth
2050 Bellmore Ave.
Bellmore, NY 11710
By phone: (516) 679-9000
By fax: (516) 679-3610
By e-mail: See Staff Directory below

Staff Directory


Pete Carney - DIRECTOR

He/Him Pronouns

Pete supervises Pride for Youth's day-to-day operations and program staff. He is responsible for grant writing and the management of all government and foundation grants to the program. Pete is responsible for program development and ensuring that PFY's services are cutting edge and meet the ever changing needs of the client population. Pete is available to present workshops on LGBTQ cultural competency, YMSM concerns and PrEP/PEP to health and human service professionals. In addition, Pete provides counseling to young gay/bi men and their families, and facilitates the agency's HIV Positive support group.

A New York State licensed clinical social worker, Pete has 20 years experience working in the field. He has worked with youth at a residential drug and alcohol treatment center and provided interventions to at risk youth in school and home settings. Prior to joining Pride for Youth in 2008, Pete spent six years working with Deaf-Blind adults and created and facilitated a ground-breaking LGBTQ support group for Deaf-Blind adults. Pete has provided training on various mental health/disability topics for other professionals throughout the country including service providers in Alabama, Washington and Texas. He is a graduate of Marywood University and Misericordia University School of Social work. He was the Recipient of the NYS DOH Commissioner's Special Recognition Award for improving the health and wellness of LGBTQ New Yorkers, in 2014. In 2015 he was appointed as a voting member to the NYS HIV Advisory Body.
Contact Pete: PCarney@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000 ext. 11

Tawni J. Engel - DIRECTOR OF LGBT SERVICES

She/Her Pronouns

Tawni oversees all administrative aspects of LGBTQ programming at Pride for Youth, including Coffeehouse, TransAction, YAAS, Queer Connect, Individual & Family Counseling, and Community Education. She supervises staff and interns, and coordinates the day-to-day operations of the agency. Tawni also facilitates the monthly "Pride for Parents Night," and carries a caseload of individuals and families. She is available to conduct trainings on Adolescent Self-Injury, Eating Disorders and LGBTQ Cultural Competency to other professionals who work with youth. 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 came on board to PFY as an intern in early 2009.
Contact Tawni: TEngel@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 12

Galo Cunto - DIRECTOR OF HIV SERVICES

He/Him Pronouns

Galo oversees all YMSM and HIV related programming here at Pride for Youth. Galo assists in development, evaluation, grant management and administrative duties associated with related programming including : HIV testing, Nassau and Queens PrEP/PEP, Mpowerment LI, Mpower VIDA, Mpower +, Project PUSH and CLEAR. Galo carries a caseload of LGBTQ individual clients and families and provides bilingual counseling. He also supervises staff and interns. Galo is available to present professional trainings on HIV and STIs.

As a licensed master social worker, Galo has a strong background in HIV education and prevention, LGBTQ Latino Immigrant populations, LGBTQ supportive services, as well as clinical therapy. Galo is bilingual (English/Spanish), and has a B.A. in psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Master's in Social Work from Adelphi University.
Contact Galo: GCunto@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 15

Mario Manaseri - YMSM SERVICES COORDINATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Mario provides supportive counseling and co-facilitates the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) groups in both Hempstead and Roosevelt High Schools. He also facilitates the Mpowerment Long Island program, in addition to supervising a Peer Navigator who provides support to HIV positive clients across Long Island. He is also a trained counselor on Long Island Crisis Center crisis intervention hotline, and is available for drop-in counseling.

Mario graduated in May 2013 from SUNY College at Oneonta. There he studied Sociology as well as Gerontology and Mass Communications. He has experience working at the schools Gender and Sexuality Resource center, being in the Gender and Sexuality Alliance for four years, and participating in sexuality courses along with dialogue sessions throughout his time at the school. He is continuing his education at Adelphi University, and is on track to obtain a Masters in Social Work.
Contact Mario: MManaseri@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 20

Jamie Peeler - HIV SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Jamie provides confidential HIV testing and counseling on-site at Pride for Youth, as well as linkage to medical care for newly positive clients. He also offers initial screening, linkage to medical services and ongoing monitoring and support for all the agency's PrEP/PEP clients. In addition, Jamie coordinates linkage for clients for Project PUSH, our collaboration with Northwell Health to provide extensive HIV/STI testing and sexual health medical services here at PFY. He also conducts community and social media outreach for HIV and PEP/PrEP services.

Jamie is currently working on a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from York College in Queens, and plans to pursue a Master's Degree directly after. 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 the role of Program Assistant, and then being promoted to HIV Navigator.
Contact Jamie: JPeeler@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 22

Scott Petersen - SOCIAL WORKER

He/Him Pronouns

Scott carries a caseload of LGBTQ clients and families, facilitates the Young Adults After-School (YAAS) program, oversees the Youth Health Advocate program, and supervises direct staff. In addition he is the clinical facilitator of Pride for Youth's weekly POZ Night and facilitates our monthly Queer Connect program. Scott is also available to provide LGBTQ sensitivity trainings to other professionals who work with youth. You can also find Scott at Coffeehouse two Fridays each month, providing clinical support and drop-in counseling.

Scott is a New York State licensed master of social work. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work. In his time at Stony Brook he was also an active member of the Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps, providing emergency care as a New York State EMT-B. He previously worked as an HIV tester and counselor on Long Island, and has held roles as an intern and Community Educator at Pride for Youth.
Contact Scott: SPetersen@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 17

Aiden Kaplan - LGBT YOUTH SERVICES COORDINATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Aiden oversees all aspects of the Coffeehouse, Trans* Group and Queer Connect programs. Additionally, as our Community Educator, Aiden facilitates workshops in high schools and middle schools all over Long Island through Pride for Youth's renowned Community Education program. He is available to present on the topics of Understanding Homophobia and Transphobia, which help to create safe spaces in an ever-increasing number of school settings.

Aiden graduated from Purchase College, where he studied Psychology, Gender Studies and Human Sexuality. He has experience facilitating multiple LGBTQ-based programs on campus, and speaking publicly on LGBTQ issues at universities throughout the tri-state area. Aiden also has six years of experience working with differently-abled individuals, helping to ensure that physical limitations do not prevent them from daily activities.
Contact Aiden: AKaplan@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 16

Uriel Loman - YMSM SERVICES NAVIGATOR

He/Him Pronouns

Uriel co-facilitates the Mpowerment Long Island program, our sexual health program for young gay, bisexual and queer men, through age 30. In addition, he conducts online and community based outreach, to link potential participants to HIV testing, PrEP/PEP, Project PUSH (medical services), counseling, support groups, and all other PFY services. He can be found at Mpowerment on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and conducting outreach throughout Long Island and Queens.

Uriel was first introduced to Pride for Youth as a participant, and quickly realized his passion for working with the LGBTQ community. He has since worked for the agency as a Peer Navigator, providing social media outreach and community education primarily to young gay, bisexual and queer men on sexual health and HIV prevention, as well as speaking about his own experience living with HIV. In January of 2016, Uriel was interviewed by CBS News, for a national news story, about living with HIV and engaging other young men for PrEP. Uriel, an immigrant from Mexico, is bilingual in both English and Spanish.
Contact Uriel: ULoman@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 27

Nicholas Dantuono - OUTREACH SPECIALIST

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

Vladimir Sabajo - OUTREACH SPECIALIST (QUEENS)

He/Him Pronouns

Vladimir provides community-based and internet/mobile app outreach to young gay, bisexual and queer men and transgender individuals, through age 30, throughout Queens to connect them to PrEP and PEP services, HIV/STI testing,  broader healthcare services and counseling and support. Vladimir conducts all initial screenings for PrEP/PEP, linking clients to medical services and provides monthly follow up adherence and sexual health counseling sessions to all clients enrolled on PrEP/PEP. Vladimir can be found throughout the week at Pride for Youth's satellite office at the Fire House Health Center in Jamaica, Queens.

Vladimir enjoys interests in a vast array of fields. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as SUNY Empire State College, and holds an Associate's Degree in Art and Design, in addition to a Bachelor's in Business. Vladimir is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Health. After working and managing a hospital Operating Room for many years, he has shifted his focus to a field in which he feels much more vested.
Contact Vladimir: VSabajo@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 646-915-4285

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 - PROGRAM ASSISTANT

He/Him Pronouns

Eric is in charge of managing the office, provides clerical support to the administrative staff and helps keep PFY's programs and events running smoothly. He is also the primary point of contact for Community Education scheduling.

Eric is currently working on a Bachelor's in Social Work at York College. He plans to pursue his Masters' in the future at Hunter College in Manhattan. Eric began his career with Pride for Youth in 2011, first working as a Program Leader, then Peer Navigator, prior to taking on the role of Program Assistant. In his down time, Eric enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends, and traveling.
Contact Eric: EThompson@longislandcrisiscenter.org or 516-679-9000, ext. 10