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Project SHINE

Advisory Board 

The Project SHINE Advisory Board serves a crucial role in helping the Network establish project goals and then holding the Network accountable to those goals. The Board is coordinated by YAI and consists of self-advocates and those who support them.  

Bin Feng

Bin Feng believes everyone with developmental disabilities has their own value and is one part of our society. His son is a young adult with Autism. Both he and his son serve as volunteers for Autism Speaks advocating for Autism Employment and calling for sexual health for the I/DD communities. Bin serves as the Advisory Board co-chair for Care Design NY Families and Individuals and works to help Chinese American families with special needs children in NYC. 

Jason Conover

Jason Conover is a singer/songwriter and the proud dog dad of a greyhound boy named Dumbledore. He is passionate about equality, equity, racial, and social justice. Jason is excited to be a part of Project SHINE because it’s important to have accurate, up to date information for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities about sexuality and sexual health. 

Tina Fitzgerald

Tina Fitzgerald believes in the ability of every person to make choices for themselves. She joined Project SHINE to address the lack of sexuality education in the disabled community. Tina has run for political office in the past.  

Virginia Rose Skar

Virginia Rose Skar has spent her career in the field of special education. She wants to work alongside advocates and fellow professionals to contribute to the process of developing authentic, meaningful, and practical resources that support the sexual health and development of diverse learners. Virginia hopes that project SHINE can break down barriers across the lifespan for people with I/DD in accessing information about sexual health. Virginia has four little ones at home and there is 2.5 year difference between all of them! 

Anthony Seno Hasan

Anthony Seno Hasan believes that accurate and accessible information about sexual education and behavioral norms is necessary for youth with I/DD for their health and safety. He hopes that his personal experiences can shape the work of the Project SHINE network. 

Tanika Marshall

Tanika Marshall firmly believes that all people have inherent sexual rights that must be affirmed and respected. Unfortunately, bias persists against people with I/DD, contributing to the lack of sexual agency, and appropriate and accessible sex education. Being a part of Project SHINE affords her the opportunity to not only raise awareness of this issue, but actively work with a group of like-minded individuals to make change. She enjoys creative activities that involve working with one's hand and feels joy and a sense of peace transforming a lump of clay into something borne of her own imagination. 

Vida Afriyie 

Vida Afriyie wants to learn and contribute her experiential knowledge as a parent of a son with special needs. She feels proud when she finishes a project that she starts and believes that when you are kind to someone, someone will always be kind to you. She love to sing with her kids and watch life hacks on tv.  

Susana Montes

Susana Montes is proud of her son and serves on the Project SHINE board because she believes  a change is needed to provide appropriate sex education to people with I/DD. She likes to watch investigation discovery. 

Trina Carrano 

Trina Carrano believes in every person's desire for growth. She wants to support people to express their full identity and be able to focus on their capabilities. She is the married mom of two teenage girls and is a very involved girl scout leader at the local, county, and national level.

Joseph Michael Damiano

Joseph Michael Damiano takes pride in advocating for other people. He has two dogs named Cupcake and Oliver. Joseph was a professional DJ for seven years and through his work with Project SHINE aims to help others learn more about themselves. 

Charles Hyman

Charles Hyman wants to help create an environment where families of people who have physical or intellectual disabilities can talk about sexuality issues. He is always striving to be kinder. Charles is looking forward to working with the SHINE network!

Lisa A. Mannino

Lisa A. Mannino is the proud mom of a gay daughter who currently serves in the US Army Reserves. She advocates for all LGBTQ+ individuals. She is also proud of her son who is employed as a cook in a COVID medical facility. Lisa is the first in her family to obtain a college degree. Her presence in Project SHINE is motivated by her belief that everyone has the right to a happy and healthy sex life.

Danielle Lazzara

Danielle Lazzara wants to make a positive change in the lives of people with I/DD by addressing the gaps in sexual health information. Danielle believes strongly in her independence and that everyone is powerful in their own way. 

Kisha Haire

Kisha Haire wants to educate and motivate the youth for today’s challenges. She believes that issues such as sexuality, the body, pregnancy are important for young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She wants to be the best person she can be and strives to help others do this as well. Kisha feels confident that Project SHINE will contribute to her empowerment. 

Zoraya Sanchez

Zoraya Sanchez is an advocate, mentor, and mom to four wonderful boys. She loves to dance and play soccer. Zoraya takes pride in her ability to accomplish any goal she sets her mind to. She feels Project SHINE is important because of the collaborative learning environment and her ability to share information back with her community. 

Xavier Jackson

Xavier Jackson felt a personal connection to advising the Project SHINE Network because he wants to share his opinions and expertise as a self-advocate in support of moving this important work forward. Xavier is proud of having served as his high school valedictorian and enjoys opportunities to get outside of his comfort zone and connect with different groups of people.