Growing up in the most violent and poverty-stricken town in Long Island, survival of the fittest was a harsh daily reality for Sergio Argueta.  He joined a street gang at an early age, attracted by the illusion of protection and support.  After several friends were killed within a year and another received a 12 year prison sentence, Sergio realized he would soon be either dead or behind bars if he didn’t leave the gang.  Hearing a mother weeping, “Why my child?” at a friend’s funeral broke his heart, and Sergio realized something had to change.  He founded S.T.R.O.N.G (Struggling To Reunite Our New Generation), a youth-driven, multi-ethnic organization in Long Island to counteract gang violence.  He has served as Director of the Baccalaureate Social Work Program at Adelphi University, a criminal justice professor at Nassau Community College, and a gang specialist for the Nassau County Youth Board.  Currently, in addition to his work as Uniondale High School Attendance Coordinator, Sergio is an adjunct professor in the Schools of Social Work at Adelphi University and Millersville University in Pennsylvania.  He and his wife are the proud parents of two daughters.