Meet the TUFF Team
Alfred "AJ" Jaya - Founder & President
Alfred "AJ" Jaya was born and raised on Long Island in New York, and graduated from Brentwood High School. He attended Palm Beach Community College in Boca Raton, Florida and later Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he pursued a degree in Business and Marketing Management. Consequently, he built a strong career in management and leadership under companies such as Illuminations, Puma North America, Dolce and Gabbana, The Ferrari Store, Louis Vuitton, and JetBlue Airways.
Although AJ was able to secure his career in management, there was an unexplained feeling of insecurity. Before starting his first company, MY TUFFSKIN Inc in 2015, he suffered multiple anxiety attacks, leading him to the realization that something was wrong. After seeking professional help, he checked himself into a rehab center, there he learned about mental health and discovered his battle with depression. This experience changed his outlook on life and inspired him to develop the "i am T.U.F.F" Programs, which inspired the creation of TUFF Empowerment in 2017. Now, AJ is focused is on expanding his companies with special attention on empowering others to overcome their situations.
Jessica Wolfarth LMSW, LPN - Clinical Director
Ms. Jessica Wolfarth, received a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University in May of 2007 and has a dual concentration in clinical and administrative management. Her career began working with the substance abuse population in both a clinical and academic setting. During those eight years she provided both prevention and clinical intervention services to patients and their families. Her experience with hospice and home care lead her into seeking a nursing degree to provide more assistance to her clients and their families. She obtained her Licensed Practical Nurse Degree in August, 2017.
Ms. Wolfarth joined the TUFF team in 2018 as a Counselor for the "i am T.U.F.F" Programs. She has worked with all age ranges from school aged children to the elderly advocating for their needs, providing counseling and connecting them with services. Family support and assistance is also provided, as more than one person is often impacted by one problem. Ms. Wolfarth has had experience working with MICA clients, developmentally disabled and learning disabled, substance abuse and mental health populations, veterans, terminally and chronically ill, individual, martial and family counseling, home care and hospice has allowed her to provide supportive counseling, patient advocacy, crisis intervention, emotional support, education, comfort, compassion, reinforcement of self-determination of the patient, dignity of patient choice and quality of life.
Feride Castillo B.A - Program Director
Ms. Feride Castillo, received a Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Women and Minority Studies from Stony Brook University in May of 2013. A founding member of Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island - ECLI, and an advocate for human rights, Ms. Castillo works with the court systems in placing youth offenders and at-risk youth in rehabilitation programs. Through her passionate efforts, she dedicated to giving people a chance to empower themselves. Her experience lead her to obtain her CASAC-t in June of 2015 and Certifications in Restorative Justice and Trauma Information Care.
Ms. Castillo joined the TUFF team in 2016 and has been influential in the development and facilitation of our human trafficking, trans-generational trauma and re-laps prevention workshops for the "i am T.U.F.F" - Change Your Mindset Program. Ms. Castillo has extensive experience working with victims of trafficking, abuse, and at-risk teens. Her experience working and advocating for the Latino community and her minor in Women and Minority Studies lends to her contributing in developing and integrating workshops dealing with re-laps prevention, human trafficking and trauma in Spanish, allowing us to serve a larger percent of our community.