Farah Jeune, Lead Champion
Jovana Calvillo (she/they) is a Master of Social Work, clinical student at Boston College who graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Biology and Public Health. Jovana is working towards becoming a therapist who supports and advocates for queer BIPOC and people living with HIV at an individual and community-level. She is an intern at Youth on Fire, a homeless shelter for youth who come from various backgrounds, such as transgender youth and youth living with HIV. Additionally, she is a hotline volunteer at The Network/La Red, an organization that serves LGBTQ+, SM, and polyamorous survivors of partner abuse.
As a Post-Baccalaureate clinical fellow, Jovana worked at McLean Hospital, a psychiatric hospital, for two years working with youth with severe mental illnesses. She has advocated for and educated others on queer youth of color issues, as a Youth Resource peer educator and NYHAAD ambassador for Advocates for Youth. Jovana has co-led trainings for creating safer spaces for queer youth of color and served on a panel sharing her own experiences at the Gender Spectrum symposium. As a 2019 Youth Initiative scholar, she collaborated with Boston GLASS and contributed to their inaugural event focused on the experiences and celebration of queer youth of color living with HIV. Jovana is committed to decriminalizing HIV and sex work and has lobbied for these issues at local, state, and national levels.
Benjamin Di’Costa (Open/Any/All) is one of the original NMAC Youth Initiative Alumni joining the program in 2014 with a flair for technology and innovation. They are a globally renowned expert in innovative program development, & capacity-building assistance utilizing social media, mobile apps, storytelling through personal narratives and campaigns. After leaving direct client work Benjamin continues to amplify the voices of young people to many organizations, corpora8ons, and government agencies that support the youth movement in HIV/AIDS to ensure that there will always be a seat at the table for young people. In 2016, Benjamin was placed on the prestigious LGBT 30 Under 30 list alongside receiving the Pedro Zamora Young HIV leader scholarship. In 2018 Benjamin founded C3 Creative Studios, a grassroots digital media, and marketing firm that focuses on elevating voices and creating meaningful digital engagement for brands, organizations, and other stakeholders.
Abraham Johnson (He/Him) is a public health educator and HIV/AIDS advocate whose experience in the community health arena spans 10 years. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Savannah State University and a Master’s of Public Health from Georgia Southern University. Abraham currently works at Treatment Action Group as the HIV Community Engagement Officer where he leads the community engagement efforts for the HIV project. He has a strong theoretical background in public health education, HIV clinical research as well as a practical experience both inside and outside academic and rural settings. Abraham is passionate about ending HIV/AIDS in marginalized communities, especially among Black gay men. He plans to further his career and become a physician assistant to help end health disparities.
Amanda Rodriguez Morales
Ms. Amanda J. Rodriguez (she/her) has become a prominent and noteworthy innovation leader within the healthcare sector. She is the Chief Data & Analytics Officer for Migrant Health Center, Western Region, Inc., a regional 501©3 non-profit center in Puerto Rico. The agency has served low income, hard-to-reach, marginalized communities for the past 50 years, out of which Ms. Rodriguez has spent at least a decade providing care continuum services for high-risk, special needs populations. Ms. Rodriguez has aided the company’s expansion through grant seeking and writing, policy development, campaign design and promo8on, as well as actively identifying, adapting, and implementing promising, evidence-based interventions for minority populations and underserved communities. Her efforts have been made possible by working with various state and federal funders to build, implement, and maintain programs which provide primary, preventive, and essential support healthcare services. She is known for her work as one of the leading experts on PrEP, having worked closely with the Islands Public Health Department and NMAC since 2013 to assist agencies and state officials with developing implementation guidelines and best practices that enable users to design and build their own programs based on their unique circumstances and resources. This being the skillset she is most known for, her ability to identify areas for growth and potential ways to bridge these gaps through customized solutions that can fluidly adapt to emerging changes. She has been covered in multiple news outlets over the years and is renowned as an empowered female leader. She prides herself for her long-standing data-driven decision-making approach and her teamwork championing, as these facilitate a harmonious overlapping of both traditional and nontraditional workstyles that further empower persons across all levels of the agency. Herein lies the foundation for her many successes, the firm belief that perception has a heavy influence on overall uptake and outcomes. Through inclusion of diversified experiences, she is awarded a clearer view and understanding of the “big picture” and can use this to guide her tailoring of approaches. This being the basis of her current efforts to build one of the Islands first data analytics department within the 330-healthcare network, in collaboration with field experts from Puerto Rico’s Primary Healthcare Association.
Marshun Redmond (He/Him/She/Her)is a Community Outreach Specialist at Whitman Walker located in Washington, DC. He is a Memphis native, currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science at the University of Memphis with a minor in Social Work. With over 6 years of experience working in public health, and community engagement, his passion to continue the fight of HIV, social determinants of health, stigma and mentally supporting his LGBTQ peer’s continues miles away.