Rush Frazier, Executive Director
They/Them

Rush is a Central Massachusetts native with over 20 years of organizing experience. Most recently, Rush was Central/East MA Organizing Coordinator at Neighbor to Neighbor, where they worked with parents, doctors, clergy, and other concerned residents to bring comprehensive sex education to all Worcester Public School youth K-12. They also worked to keep bus fares free throughout Worcester, now in its second year. In previous roles, Rush worked to end the death penalty in New Hampshire. Rush was Co-Grand Marshal of the Worcester Pride Parade in 2018 and was awarded the Key to the City of Worcester in 2020. In their spare time, Rush is a DJ, practices herbalism, and loves to hike. They are a proud parent of two dogs and two cats.

Rush can be reached at Rush@youthprideri.org

 

Andy Taubman, MSW, Director of Youth Service
She/Her/They/Them

Andy graduated with a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Rhode College in the Spring of 2019. They have worked in nonprofits for 20+ years and have a particular love and interest in working with youth, especially being around their energy and being part of the process of helping them navigate adolescence and young adulthood. YPI is particularly appealing to Andy as a queer person who loves the opportunity to work directly with the youngest members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

In their free time, Andy performs as a drag king performer, producer, mentor, workshop maker and event manager and community builder. They enjoy hiking with their dog (the world’s prettiest Soi (street) dog that they rescued in Thailand named Saku!), working out, traveling and exploring new places, and flopping on a couch and binge watching TV shows. 

Andy can be reached at Andy@youthprideri.org

 

Tiffani Carcieri, Administrative Coordinator
She/Her

Tiffani grew up in Providence and received her double major in Psychology and Health Studies from the University of Rhode Island in 2017. Prior to YPI, Tiffani worked at the University of Rhode Island’s Gender and Sexuality Center as Building Manager where she gained great insight and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and its unique needs. She is also the Treasurer on the board of directors for Every-Bodies-Fitness, Inc. and founder of the small business, String as Things, LLC.

Tiffani can be reached at Tiffani@youthprideri.org

 

Sy Bedrick, Center Coordinator 
They/Them

Sy moved to Providence in the summer of 2020 from Brooklyn, NY, and has enjoyed getting to know the communities here as folks find safe ways to gather and support one another. Sy earned a BFA at New York University for theatrical directing, and a certificate of Master of Makeup Artistry from Make-Up Designory. They worked as a special effects makeup artist for many years in film and television, but refocused to community education and mental health support work after moving to Providence. Sy is currently in graduate school for clinical social work at Rhode Island College. They have always been happiest in queer spaces, and are thrilled to be helping facilitate the welcoming environment at Youth Pride. When they’re not working with community organizations, Sy can be found frolicking through the woods, or creating experimental queer theater with their theater group, Water House Collective.

Sy can be reached at sy@youthprideri.org

 

Paola Mejía, Group Facilitator
She/Her

Joining us in early December, Paola is our newest staff member! Although new to staff, Paola is not new to YPI. For several years Paola has been an active YPI youth in our drop-in space; she was also a YPI youth Board Member and frequently spoke on panels and other events representing YPI. Paola now co- facilitates Mostrando Orgullo, our new Queer Latinx youth group. If you’re interested in joining Mostrando Orgullos, shoot her an email; the group meets Wednesdays from 5-6pm either in our drop-in space or via zoom. The group is open to those who speak Spanish or Spanglish- complete fluency is not required!

Currently, Paola is a full time college student, likes spending time with her two dogs, and playing The Sims or Animal Crossing.

Paola can be reached at Paola@youthprideri.org

 

Celestino Pottinger, Center Facilitator
He/They

Celestino (He/They) moved to Providence in 2020, following their chosen family after graduating from Cornell University. He has worked in healthcare and housing and has a passion for teaching people how to navigate and advocate for themselves when dealing with these oppressive systems of power.

Celestino believes that building and maintaining strong community connections is one of the chief ways youth can empower themselves to live a joyful and healthy life. He came to work at YPI to invest his time and talents in creating the spaces he wished he had as a youth. They love creating and maintaining queer spaces, and DJ for queer dance parties in their free time. They live with their cat, Lily, who has the best taste in music.

Celestino can be reached at Celestino@youthprideri.org

 

 

Zoe Armstrong, Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Coordinator
She/Her

Zoe first came to Providence in 2015 as an undergraduate student at Brown University. While she and her partner continue to live in Providence, Zoe now commutes between Providence, Boston, and Worcester for work and school. She is currently enrolled at UMass Boston as a graduate student in the McCormack School’s Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy program. Outside of the classroom, Zoe also works as a community organizer for MassEquality, a grassroots LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization based in Worcester. Zoe joined YPI in February, 2022 as the new Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Coordinator.

Zoe is passionate about intersectional social justice and seeks to address issues facing BIPOC LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities in the belief that improving the experiences of our most marginalized community members results in better outcomes for everyone. Much of her work and research is focused on advocating for inclusive, comprehensive sexuality and relationships education. She is also a strong proponent of prison abolition and sex work decriminlization. Zoe came to work at YPI to be involved in building the supportive queer community space that she herself craved as a queer youth.

Zoe’s hobbies include playing the piano, singing (and forcing her friends to do karaoke), pole dancing, and binge watching any TV show with a sapphic story line.

Zoe can be reached at Zoe@youthprideri.org

 

Joe Di Mauro, Grant-Writer
He/Him

Joe currently lives in Boston, but is originally from Warwick Rhode Island. His experience in the non-profit sector has spanned over the last 10 years beginning as an intern for Marriage Equality Rhode Island back in 2012. When he’s not raising money for causes that matter, he’s probably hiking, traveling, rock climbing, or enjoying time with friends. Joe is also back in school pursuing a degree in Software Engineering!

Joe can be reached at Joe@youthprideri.org 

 

 

Jessica Peters, PhD Licensed Clinical Psychologist – Clinician
She/Her

Jess has worked as a clinician at YPI since August of 2016, facilitating the Way Out and Thirteen and Under groups and providing individual counseling services on Thursday evenings. She is originally from the Boston area and obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She moved to Providence to complete her clinical residency and postdoc at Brown University Med School, where she continues to research adolescent emotional functioning. Her specialized clinical training includes helping people manage difficult emotions, decrease risky behavior (like self-harm, substance use), and deal with challenging relationships. She is also an experienced mindfulness teacher. Throughout her clinical career, she has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ issues and is thrilled to be part of the YPI team. When not working, Jess loves creating and experiencing art, reading, inventing new recipes, and hanging out with her cat.

To make an appointment with Jess, speak with staff or email them at Jess@youthprideri.org

 

Kody Harrison, LICSW – Clinician
They/Them

Kody is a clinical social worker and is excited to provide individual counseling services at YPI! Kody has been passionate about working with and advocating for LGBTQ+ youth since they were a queer youth themself, as a peer facilitator of the LGBTQ+ youth group in Hartford, CT way back in 2010. They have worked with youth ever since in community-based, hospital, and residential treatment settings. They moved to Rhode Island in 2013 and love the beauty and diversity of their adopted state.

Kody has specialized training in multiple clinical approaches and evidence-based practices to help people manage strong and difficult feelings and unwanted or unsafe thoughts and behaviors, as well as complicated family relationships. Kody primarily works at Family Service of RI as a clinical supervisor for the in-home trauma treatment program. They often provide training and advocacy to schools, community agencies, and state systems (like DCYF) to promote understanding and support for trans and nonbinary youth.

When they’re not being a clinician, Kody loves walking their dog or listening to podcasts in their hammock.

Kody’s schedule is variable due to their daytime job, but generally they are available in the evenings. To make an appointment with Kody, speak with staff or email them at Kody@youthprideri.org


Guillaume Bagal – Chair
Monique Collins – Treasurer

At Large Members:
Maia Bailey, Favour Bello*, Lisa Carcieri, Scott Gowrie, Erren Robateau, Cassie Sutten-Coats

* = Youth Board Member