Point Source Youth is run by a team of internationally recognized leaders, experts, and veterans in the fields of health policy advocacy, HIV/AIDS and homelessness prevention, and technology for social impact.
Our new Program Associate, Marcelle LaBrecque sat down to talk with them. Watch the video below to hear their stories and find out more about how they're taking action.
Point Source Youth Team
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Larry Cohen co-founded Point Source Youth in 2015. He previously co-founded and sold Heartbeat Experts, a company that connects the world's leading scientific researchers to the health care industry with offices in 22 countries, now part of IBM Watson. Larry worked in the healthcare field for 20 years. He broadcasted the first HIV treatment meetings online in the 1990s, and was Director of the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project, which was the first community based organization to advocate for the combination HIV/AIDS treatment that would changed the course of the AIDS crisis. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Associate Director, Northeast, Pilar Barreyro is driven by the goal to dismantle discriminatory institutions and policies that continue to oppress historically marginalized communities across the US. A firm believer in the power of young people, she is especially dedicated to eradicating paternalistic and disempowering practices that silence the voices of young people and infringe upon their right to exercise freedom and agency in their lives. Before joining the Point Source Youth team Pilar oversaw anti-discrimination campaigns at DoSomething.org, where she activated the organization's 6 million members around racial justice and criminal justice reform issues. Pilar worked closely with young people across the country to make critical race theories digestible and accessible, matching education to actions young people could take to improve their communities both online and offline. Her previous work also includes grassroots advocacy in Buenos Aires for local Afro-Latinx (Afro-Latine) and LGBTQ+ communities. Pilar holds a Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Associate Director, West Coast, Orlando Roybal believes in the power of mentoring, community, and empowering others to stop the cycle of poverty. Orlando has almost a decade of experience in higher education and understands deeply and personally the barriers youth face and the solutions they need to succeed. Orlando is a product of the foster care system. On his own at 18, he worked hard and seized every opportunity possible to obtain stable housing and succeed at California State University Northridge. While there, Orlando worked with the Educational Opportunity Program serving educationally disadvantaged, underserved, and historically low-income students and foster youth. Orlando ran four transitional programs supporting over 1,000 students in getting the support they needed to succeed. Orlando went on to graduate from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work with an emphasis in Organizational Development, leading trauma-focused interventions that supported youth experiencing homelessness.
Associate Director, South Dr. Todd Rosendahl is a leading expert on LGBTQ youth topics in the South. Growing up on a farm in rural Iowa, Todd has dedicated his professional career to creating safer and more welcoming schools and communities for LGBTQ youth by engaging with youth-serving organizations, governmental agencies, and K-12 schools across North Carolina. Through his previous work with Equality North Carolina and Time Out Youth Center, he has supported school districts and organizations on policy writing and implementation, trained thousands of youth-serving staff members, developed youth leadership programming for middle/high school students, and organized and ran the annual Carolina Conference on Queer Youth in Charlotte. He was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Youth Advisory Council in January 2018. Todd regularly presents at regional and national conferences and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Master's degree and PhD from Florida State University.
Program Associate, Marcelle LaBrecque is beyond excited to be working with Point Source Youth! Marcelle spent a year advising Point Source Youth on our work, planning our National Symposium on Solutions to End Youth Homelessness, and hosting our Ask A Rockstar series. Marcelle moved to New York from Massachusetts to chase their goals of being a musical theatre artist, becoming a leader within the Covenant House New York Community, as well as the New York CoC Youth Advisory Board. Since working with Point Source Youth, Marcelle's activism within the LGBTQ Youth Community has grown to include other non-profits and local high schools around New York City! Marcelle plans on changing the world, one dream at a time!
Associate Director, Communications, Storytelling and Development, Suneil Sanzgiri is an artist, filmmaker and video journalist whose work is deeply informed by movement building, grassroots organizing, and understanding how systems of oppression are intertwined with forms of power through media. He joins us after working as a Producer for the popular online news outlet NowThis, creating videos at the intersection of culture and politics with a focus on mass incarceration, police brutality, grassroots organizing, and protest movements. Suneil studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Art, Culture and Technology program and in Baltimore at the Maryland Institute College of Art. As a video journalist, Suneil focuses on how narrative and storytelling can help make lasting change by creating powerful and passionate videos that resonate with audiences in the hopes of mobilizing them to take action. Suneil is excited to work with Point Source Youth to intimately explore the multifaceted experiences of homeless youth through all their challenges and successes.
Consultant Jenna Mellor is motivated by the belief that all people deserve agency over their own lives and wellbeing. After graduating from Harvard College, Jenna managed the flagship Outreach Program at HIPS in Washington, DC, which supports folks engaged in sex work, sex trade, and criminalized drug use. She then returned to her home state of New Jersey as a Global Health Corps Fellow, coordinating medical services at Covenant House Newark and then joining Covenant House as staff. Directly prior to joining PSY, Jenna worked for Congressman Jerrold Nadler on constituent issues related to affordable homes, public housing and immigration. She is a board member of New Leaders Council—NJ, where she was a 2016 Fellow, and the New Jersey Abortion Access Fund. After helping grow Point Source Youth, Jenna is attending Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School master's program with a focus on housing and harm reduction.
Nadja Bentley-Hammond is an advocate from Baltimore, MD. She is one of the founders of the Youth Empowered Society (YES) Drop-in Center. Currently, she is a executive member of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness and a Youth Research Associate with Point Source Youth. Because of her own experience, Ms. Bentley-Hammond is determined and devoted to serve young people until youth homelessness has ended.
Sophie-Rose Cadle is a 23 year-old youth trans advocate. Sophie was born in the Dominican Republic, and raised in Washington Heights, NY. Sophie is a natural born leader, driven to make a change in the world. Her passion is advising on law changes & city programming that affect trans and gender non-conforming folks (TGNC). Sophie's long-term goals include earning a Masters in Social Work and starting an organization that serves neglected children.
Research Lead Dr. Robin Petering, PhD received her PhD from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She is a co-Primary Investigator on a multi-city study assessing the health risks and resilience of young people who are homeless or unstably housed. Her work also includes research on gang involved homeless youth, which is supported by the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Ja'asriel is an aspiring psychologist working with, and for, youth and young adults. Ja'asriel migrated from the Republic of Guyana to the United States of America in July 2016 and is a proud ambassador of Point Source Youth's rapid re-housing, family and kinship strengthening, and host home programs. This spirited leader is dedicated to ending homelessness and fighting against all other social justices, and he is passionate about the arts. Keep careful watch of this phenomenal force, he has much to offer the world.
Board of Directors
Co-Founder, Board President Ronald Johnson former Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at AIDS United, Ronald is a co-founder of the groundbreaking Hetrick-Martin Institute – the first LGBTQ-youth specific organization in the country – and the former Associate Executive Director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Ronald is a veteran health and human rights advocate and recognized policy leader and was the HIV/AIDS policy coordinator in two mayoral administrations.
Co-Founder, Board Secretary and Treasurer Colin McSwiggen has worked with a number of organizations in the nonprofit space over the past 7 years, first in international development and then in educational technology. He has also worked as a writer and software engineer. He holds degrees in mathematics and physics from MIT and in industrial design from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University.
Board Member and Board Vice President Dr. Cynthia Lubin Langtiw is Associate Department Chair at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She holds a PhD in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a MA in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BA with honors from the University of Chicago. Cynthia's clinical work reflects a strong systemic / community sensibility that integrates a relational cultural perspective.
She is currently a clinical supervisor with the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture. Her areas of expertise include cultural diversity, immigration/migration, trauma, body-based therapies, expressive therapies, spirituality and religion.
Board Member Joanne Rosen is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work focuses on the public health impact of laws that regulate abortion and reproductive health, and laws that regulate sexual intimacy and sexual orientation. She is also interested in the discrimination and stigma associated with these laws. Educated in Canada, Rosen obtained her JD and MA at the University of Toronto.
She served as counsel to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in Toronto for 17 years, and specialized in human rights and administrative law. She was also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and an instructor in the Bar Admission Course. Joanne sits on the board of FreeState Justice, a Baltimore-based legal services organization that provides legal and policy support to members of the LGBTQ community in Maryland. She is also a member of the Board of Managerial Trustees of the International Association of Women Judges, a non-governmental organization that advances human rights, equal justice and the rule of law through its international network of women judges.
Board Member Amy Flood is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs at Gilead Sciences Inc. Amy joined Gilead’s corporate communications department in January 2000 to manage product communications for the launch of the company’s first product for HIV. She was appointed senior vice president of public affairs in March 2018, and in this role is responsible for corporate and product communications supporting the company’s business and leading brands, employee communications, patient advocacy and corporate giving programs.
Prior to joining Gilead, Amy worked in healthcare public relations in New York, relocating to San Francisco in 1998 to help establish her firm’s west coast operations. She started her career in non-profits, working on women’s and children’s health advocacy.
She is a member of the Arthur Page Society, a professional public relations organization, and a member of the Board of Trustees for AIDS United, a national non-profit advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.
Amy is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, with a degree in English Literature. She resides in the Bay Area with her husband and two young sons.