New Executive Director joins LINCS

The Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc., is happy to announce its new Executive Director, Peter W. Solaski.

Mr. Solaski joins us from SPD Control Systems Corp, based in Stony Brook, NY, where he was the Chief Technology Officer for the past 10 years. SPD is an engineering firm focused on intelligent electronics for energy efficiency. Previously Peter served as the Vice President of Fixed Income Databases, managing a technical development team of 120, for Thomson Reuters, based in both Hauppauge, NY and Stamford, CT.

Mr. Solaski holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master’s in Technological Systems Management from Stony Brook University. The board believes Peter’s unique technical perspective will help further LINCSs’ mission to prevent, monitor and lessen the effects of bias crimes, hate related harassment and discrimination. Retired CEO, Dr. Gail Barouh, said “The evolving nature of the Internet and social media have created powerful tools which have unfortunately led to new ways for bullying, discrimination, and hate to foster. Peter will bring new perspective on these issues.”

Meet the LINCS New Board Chair

The Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc., is happy to announce that its new Chairman of the Board is Thomas B. DiMicelli.

Thomas B. DiMicelli is an Executive Vice President at JLL’s Brokerage Group and has been with them since January 2011. Mr. DiMicelli is a 34-year expert in the Long Island commercial real estate market, who graduated from Rutgers College with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications. He has successfully negotiated hundreds of sale and lease transactions for local, national and Fortune 500 companies as well as investors and owners. His clients have included distinguished firms such as Time Equities, Inc., The Luxottica Group, Maurice Villency, Inc. and Restaurant Depot. Mr. DiMicelli also has the distinction of being the only broker in history to receive Long Island’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award” three times.

Mr. DiMicelli joined the LINCS board in 2014 and has served with honesty and integrity. Retired CEO, Dr. Gail Barouh, PhD, said, “Thomas has been an integral Board Member and will bring much to the table as Board Chair to facilitate LINCS in its mission to prevent, monitor and lessen the effects of bias crimes, hate related harassment and discrimination.”

LINCS celebrates International Women’s Day 2018

March 8th 2018 marks International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s, and has continued to be celebrated over 100 years. This year’s theme is “#PressforProgress”.

According to internationalwomensday.com, “International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.”

Dr. Gail Barouh, PhD reflected, “International Women’s Day is a big step worldwide for all women to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for the many contributions they make in their societies.”

LINCS working to expand programs

LINCS is dedicated to preventing and addressing discrimination, harassment, violence, and bullying in Long Island’s communities through the BiasHELP program. BiasHELP has developed an outstanding reputation for crafting a comprehensive response to community and school-based violence, particularly as it relates to young people. Collaborations with schools, community-based organizations, faith-based agencies, and local/state government units have been a cornerstone of all our projects as we work locally to reduce the incidence of harassment and violence in all its forms. Our dynamic, culturally competent staff provides an extensive repertoire of professional training programs designed for a wide variety of target audiences. A primary focus for BiasHELP in the coming year is to continue working with schools in implementation of programming related to the Dignity for All Students Act and the evidenced-based bullying prevention program, OLWEUS.

LINCS is in the process of seeking additional funding from the New York State Senate in order to expand our programs to reach more people. In the past 6 months BiasHELP has successfully delivered 11 educational programs with several schools. The requested funding will provide us with additional resources to ensure these valuable services reach youth-serving organizations in need of assistance. Funds will specifically support implementation of bullying, violence prevention, and anger management training and programming targeted to the needs of the following venues, all of which have requested services to date: Suffolk Community College; Bay Shore School District; Mercy Ministries; Suffolk County Police Department; and Commack School District.

LINCS, former CEO, Gail Barouh, PhD, “This additional funding will allow the agency to continue our critical work in reducing youth violence, bullying/cyberbullying behaviors and addressing drug and alcohol use in our community’s schools and youth-serving agencies.”

New York State’s continued support and commitment is a key component of our work with schools and community-based organizations as we engage in these efforts to meet the complex needs of Suffolk County youth and reduce the incidences of community and school based violence.

Dr. Gail Barouh hosts Girls Day Event

On Thursday June 8th, Dr. Gail Barouh, CEO of the Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc., hosted a group of young women for an event of empowerment and education. Over a dozen motivated, ambitious girls attended the event where an accomplished panel of female executives, directors and management, discussed the challenges, as well as the advantages, of being a woman in a position of leadership.

Harriet Gourdine-Adams, Chief Officer for Care Coordination at LIAAC, explained that this event originated during a discussion of the unique challenges female executives face and the desire to share the trials and the triumphs of being a female executive with the next generation of young ladies. She believes that it is very motivating for a young girl to see a woman in a position of power. Dr. Barouh stated that she wanted to introduce the girls to “accomplished women who came to do this work from different walks of life, at different times in their life” to show that there is no single path to success. She explained to the girls that this was a unique experience for them, as at most companies you would not see a panel of its top leaders being female.

The girls participated in a question and answer session, where they discussed skills necessary to be a good leader as well as how to balance work with personal life. Throughout the discussion, Dr. Gail Barouh offered the girls her insight on what it means to run a company, make hard decisions, and tackle obstacles. She talked about being adaptable, along with the stresses of having to make decisions that some people may not always agree with. Dr. Barouh told the girls “it is harder to be a woman in business, and in life” but that with confidence, open-mindedness, and hard work anything is possible.

The young ladies in attendance shared their dreams for the future. Among them were wishes to be a news reporter, an animator, a doctor, lawyer, marine biologist and fashion designer. Though each child has a unique future and path, they gained from this lesson the notions of female empowerment, being supportive of one another, and to always work hard and dream big.

White House Drug Policy Director Awards $88.2 Million to Local Communities to Prevent Youth Substance Use

The Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc. (LINCS) is pleased to announce that we have been awarded funding by the Drug Free Communities program for the North Fork Alliance Coalition. LINCS has been spearheading the coalition for the past five years and is pleased to be able to continue its work. LINCS is a community-based not-for-profit agency whose goal is to build capacity and to enhance the programs of publicly supported health and human service organizations and coalitions across Long Island. “Drug prevention programs
like the ones at LINCS help our entire community by reducing substance abuse on Long Island,” Rep. Steve Israel said. “This grant is an acknowledgement of the good work they do and it will help them continue to have an important impact on Long Island.”

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). LINCS will receive the maximum of $125,000 each year for five years in DFC grant funds. We are proud to report that the North Fork Alliance was the only new grantee from Long Island, and one of five new grantees for New York State. LINCS would like to thank the North Fork Alliance members for all their continued efforts in making the community safer for the youth and is looking forward to an additional five years of working together.

“Efforts to keep our youth drug free are critical to healthy and safe communities here on the North Fork”, said Jennifer Fazio, LINCS Project Director for the North Fork Alliance Coalition. “This new funding will allow the North Fork Alliance to mobilize and organize the community to prevent and reduce youth substance use.” The North Fork Alliance serves communities on the North Fork of Long Island with over 45,000 community members. “I strongly support the North Fork Alliance’s mission to fight back against the scourge of youth drug abuse,” said Congressman Tim Bishop. “I am pleased that federal funding to LINCS through the Drug Free Communities Program will further the Alliance’s vital work to strengthen our community and help our young people make the right choices for their future.”

Part of the Solution to Ending Bullying on Long Island

The 2010 Ethics of American Youth Survey, conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, surveyed 43,321 teens ages 15 to 18, from 78 public and 22 private schools. The study found that 50% of students said they had “bullied, teased or taunted someone at least once,” and 47% had been “bullied, teased or taunted in a way that seriously upset me at least once.”

LINCS/BiasHELP, the Long Island Network of Community Services and its affiliate organization, BiasHELP, Inc. are deeply concerned about the impact of bullying on children as well as the impact bullying has on the school as a whole. We believe that an action is considered as bullying behavior when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself. Bullying can seriously affect the emotional, physical, and academic well-being of children who are bullied and contribute to a negative school climate.

LINCS/BiasHELP are committed to reducing the incidences of bullying in Long Island schools and communities. After doing extensive research we have identified the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program as the foremost bullying prevention program available. It is a whole school program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bulling throughout a school setting.

In addition, the Olweus Bulling Prevention Program has received recognition from a number of organizations including: Blueprints Model Program, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado at Boulder; Model Program, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Effective Program, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice; and Level 2 Program, U.S. Department of Education.