Our Programs Team
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Jane Heaphy
Jane Heaphy
Deputy Executive Director of Programs
Jane brings over 25 years of educational nonprofit management experience. Focused on equity and access over her career, she led the Options Center and created the Options Institute, which provide college access and success programming to young people and training and capacity-building to school and community based counselors. She also headed Learning Leaders whose programs engaged parents as essential partners in public education. Jane lives in Brooklyn with her family. A graduate of the NYC public schools, she is also the proud parent of two teenagers in public high schools in Brooklyn. She has a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College.
Jean Mizutani
Jean Mizutani
Senior Education Specialist
Jean has worked at INCLUDEnyc since 1999. She manages the direct assistance program, works with parents and professionals, and conducts training on advocacy skills and special education. She is a key leader of INCLUDEnyc's Special Education Parent Centers and participates in several coalitions and advisory groups. Formerly a chef, she is the parent of a daughter with disabilities. Jean first contacted our organization as a parent seeking help and volunteered for two years before joining the staff.

Parent & Family Engagement, Early Childhood

Stephanie Tong
Stephanie tong
Director of Parent & Family Engagement, early childhood
Stephanie is the Director of Parent and Family Engagement, Early Childhood. For the past 10 years, she has worked in Early Childhood programs ranging from Early Childhood Head Start, Early Learn, and UPK programs to home visiting programs focused on reaching high-need families with young children. Stephanie feels strongly that supporting families at the earliest stages sets children up for greater success educationally and social emotionally. Stephanie earned her Master of Education from the Teacher's College at Columbia and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
Kpana Kpoto
Kpana Kpoto
Manager of Parent and Family Engagement, Early Childhood
Kpana brings a wealth of information and expertise as a parent advocate and co-founder of a growing autism parent support group in the Bronx. She develops and disseminates information and resources to parents in underserved communities and collaborates with community organizations in the interest of people with disabilities. As a parent of a child with a developmental disability, she brings a passionate family perspective to her work. Kpana has a B.A. in Communications from Howard University.
Kimberly McCoy
Kimberly MCcoy
Senior Family Educator
Kimberly is an attorney, special educator, and parent of a child with autism. She brings over 10 years of experience in special education, ranging from early childhood evaluator and home-based ABA instructor to community school teacher. She attended City College for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Special Education and earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law.
Meghan Brennan
Family Educator
Meghan is a Family Educator at INCLUDEnyc specializing in early childhood. She brings over 10 years of experience as an early childhood educator and instructional coach. Meghan previously worked at Bank Street College of Education as an instructional coach, where she provided professional development workshops and in-classroom coaching to teachers in NYC's Pre-K For All programs. She cares deeply about creating equitable and inclusive learning environments for children and the adults who support them. Meghan resides in Brooklyn with her husband and dog. She has a Bachelor's in early childhood education from Long Island University and a Master's in early childhood special education from Vanderbilt University.
Sasha Bueno
Sasha bueno
Family Educator
Sasha’s desire to work with individuals with disabilities started at a young age as an older sibling to a person with multiple disabilities. Over the past ten years, Sasha has worked with individuals with speech and language disabilities, taught in ICT classrooms, and provided behavior intervention therapy (ABA) in a variety of settings. Sasha is a native Spanish speaker and NYS certified teacher. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Pace University and a Master’s Degree in Transformative Literacy from The City College of New York. Sasha is happy to be a part of the INCLUDEnyc team. She is motivated to educate and provide support to families, especially within the Latino community.
Simone Capparelli
Simone capparelli
Family Educator
Growing up in New York City, Simone was a student in New York City schools and a sister helping her sibling with learning disabilities. Witnessing her family's struggle finding the right supports for her brother, Simone became passionate about pursuing a career in education. Simone has over ten years experience as a special education teacher, behavioral intervention specialist, life skills coach, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from City College and a Master’s Degree in General and Special Education from Touro College. Simone is excited to be a part of INCLUDEnyc as a Family Educator specializing in early childhood.
Steffany Ruiz
Steffany Ruiz
Family Educator
Steffany Ruiz is a firm believer that the family is the basis of society and therefore plays a fundamental role in our children’s lives. Steffany has joined INCLUDEnyc to advocate and provide support to families of children and young people with disabilities by connecting them to resources within the community and delivering interactive workshops through the NYS PROMISE Project. Steffany holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has extensive experience working in the field of social services. She began her professional career working with families of children in early childhood in Bogota, Colombia, then as a case manager for a Mental Health clinic and as a family advocate for high risk families in New York City.

Parent & Family Engagement, School-Age

Elizabeth Golini
Director of Parent & Family Engagement, School-Age
Elizabeth is excited to join the staff at INCLUDEnyc as a Director of Parent and Family Engagement. For the past ten years, she has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other disabilities and their families in non-public settings, charter schools, and public schools. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education from Simmons College and is a Doctoral Student at Hunter College. Additionally, she brings her knowledge as a Licensed Behavior Analyst and Board Certified Behavior Analyst to INCLUDEnyc. Elizabeth is passionate about working with families and communities to better serve people with disabilities. She is committed to working for educational equity and access for all children and their families.
Ruth DiRoma
Ruth DiRoma, M.S. Ed.
Senior Family Educator
Ruth brings a lifetime of nonprofit and advocacy experience to INCLUDEnyc, including 30 years working for the Healing Arts Initiative. As a parent of a child with a disability herself, Ruth lends an intimate knowledge and passion to her mission to help New York City families provide the best possible education and future for their own children with disabilities. She has a master’s degree in Special Education and Urban Education as well as a master’s in Labor Relations and Management from Pace University.
Colin Montgomery
Colin Montgomery
Senior Family Educator
Colin believes strongly in educational empowerment as a means to greater racial and social justice for families and communities. A former Special Education teacher and department head, he joined INCLUDEnyc to advocate for and provide support to families of children and young people with disabilities by connecting them to resources within the community and by delivering interactive workshops. He holds a Masters degree in Special Education. His teaching work and previous work with immigrant students in New York have deeply informed his commitment to working with families and communities.
Maggie Downham
Maggie Downham
Family Educator
As a person with multiple disabilities, Maggie brings both professional and personal experience to her work at INCLUDEnyc as a Family Educator. She knows the struggles and joys that living with a disability brings. Watching her mother advocate for her growing up, Maggie learned to be her own advocate. While her personal experiences have inspired her to do this work, she also feels strongly that she has a professional responsibility to empower families with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for their children. As a result, she entered full-time family advocacy, bringing with her 7 years of experience as a special educator during which she served students with disabilities grades 5-8 in various settings.
Julianne Toce
Julianne Toce
Family Educator
Julianne is a Family Educator at INCLUDEnyc. She has taught general and special education in New York City public schools and has a Master’s degree in Sociology and Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University. She has a strong dedication to racial justice and equal rights, and believes in the need to acknowledge their intersection with schools and special education in teaching and advocacy work.

Parent & Family Engagement, Special Projects

Alfonso Guzman
Alfonso Guzman, M.A.
At INCLUDEnyc, Alfonso works directly with youth and families conducting outreach activities and delivering trainings. A native Spanish speaker, Alfonso is passionate about reaching immigrant families in NYC. He has designed, translated, and delivered a wide variety of parent workshops for families and professionals. He began his career in Early Intervention, has trained families in the child welfare system, and brings over a decade of social services experience to his work. Alfonso has an M.A. in Psychology from City College of the City University of New York.
Diana Bagioli
Diana Biagioli, M.A.
Family Educator
Diana has extensive experience with nonprofits in the fields of education, immigration, and the environment, both in New York City and in London, England. One of her children has a learning disability, and Diana is thrilled to be able to guide young people and their families. She is a native Spanish speaker and is particularly interested in servicing and supporting the Spanish-speaking community. Diana has an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University.
Johanna Espinoza
Johanna Espinoza
Family Educator
Johanna can identify with the barriers that people face when they arrive in a new country. Due to language limitations her parents were not aware of the supports available to assist Johanna’s adjustment to a new culture. She struggled with her academics and wanted to give up on school. Through one of her teachers she was connected with a bilingual counselor. She learned about the various supports offered and began advocating for herself and her family. This is when her passion to work with families began. Johanna has prior experience with family counseling in the preventive service setting as a case planner. She also has experience working with adults with autism and provided behavioral intervention therapy (ABA), and job coaching. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Saint Francis College and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Baruch College. Johanna brings her enthusiasm to support and educate families as a family educator at INCLUDEnyc.
Yulissa Garcia
Yulissa Garcia
PARENT & Family Engagement Coordinator
Raised by immigrant parents in the Bronx and studying Sociology, Yulissa has a deep understanding of why families like her own did not have access to proper resources. She aspired to be an agent of change in communities like the one she grew up in and has worked extensively in care coordination for adults with chronic conditions. Yulissa joins the INCLUDEnyc team with the continued desire to help the New York community, particularly Latino families. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Lehman College in Sociology with a minor in Early Childhood Education.

Youth & Transition Services

Mia Greenidge
Mia Greenidge
Mia has a Master’s degree in Adolescent Education from St. John's University. She comes with a background in human services specializing in educational and vocational services for young people affected by the juvenile justice and foster care systems. Mia is driven by the belief that there is a stronger need for detailed and effective transitional support for young people with disabilities, so they understand how to be their own advocates, understand their special education rights, and have support in post-secondary planning. Mia comes to INCLUDEnyc with a passion for supporting and driving transitional work with young people and hopes to close the achievement gap for this group.
Beth Ebert
As the younger sibling of a person with a disability, Beth developed an interest in supporting others with disabilities at a young age. Observing the challenges that her brother experienced transitioning to adulthood led Beth to a career devoted to making systemic change for people with disabilities. With a Masters in Social Work, Beth comes to INCLUDEnyc with experience in ABA therapy, behavioral intervention, employment coaching, and other transition-related services. In her work, Beth places a strong emphasis on fostering collaborative, solution-focused systems of support, which are built upon teamwork and relationship building across all sectors.
Belinda Lin
As a Youth Educator, Belinda brings many years of experience serving youth and families in both NYC and Taipei, Taiwan in educational, mentoring, mental health, and after school settings. Growing up in Queens, New York in an immigrant household and working closely with the immigrant population has given Belinda a unique perspective of the challenges faced and hidden strengths this community holds. She is passionate about providing access to information on how to navigate special education services and continues to advocate for and with marginalized communities especially on the topic of their educational rights. Belinda holds a Master of Social Work degree from her alma mater, Nyack College.
Neil Purohit
Neil Purohit
Youth Coordinator
As a person with a disability, Neil has been interested in advocacy work from a young age. Growing up with an IEP gave him first hand experience of the cracks that so many young people fall into, sparking a passion for both youth development and social justice. A lifelong New Yorker, Neil received his BA in Psychology from Queens College, where he was deeply involved with local advocacy organizations. Before joining INCLUDEnyc, he worked as a Community Organizer for a Brooklyn based nonprofit, working to improve health outcomes in some of the city's most marginalized communities.