Loretta Jay, MA, Executive Director
With more than twenty-five years of experience in comprehensive program design, implementation and evaluation, Loretta Jay co-founded B Stigma-Free and is a nationally-recognized, inspirational advocate for families and children. Ms. Jay has published, spoken and testified extensively on complex issues regarding child protection, mental health and specialized healthcare populations, and has wide-ranging experience in the design and conduct of accredited educational programs and research studies. She has authored numerous articles, and public health officials and lawmakers at the federal, state and local level call upon her for guidance.
As a distinguished non-profit consultant with Parasol LLC since 2001, Ms. Jay has a demonstrated expertise in resource analysis, program development, needs-based service delivery and evaluation and quality improvement. Her work with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the US Food and Drug Administration, major healthcare facilities amongst many others, has yielded improved services and streamlined policy and protocols to better meet the population’s needs.
Ms. Jay earned her Bachelor’s degree in social sciences and social work from the University of Bridgeport, and her Master’s degree in community psychology with a focus in program evaluation from the University of New Haven. She is a proud member of the Society for Community Research and Action and the American Evaluation Association. She has served in leadership positions for numerous local, state and national organizations, including as President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Fairfield and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
Cheryll Houston, Special Projects
Cheryll Houston co-founded B Stigma-Free. She is a multi-talented human services advocate and institutional strategist whose career has focused on issues affecting the underserved and oppressed members of society. Ms. Houston has led or served on the Executive Leadership Team for diverse multi-million dollar service organizations in the Northeast and Midwest, including United Way, The Arc: For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and Chicago House – the Midwest’s most experienced provider of housing, case management and supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Her professional responsibilities have included fundraising, organizational management, public relations, strategic planning and legislative action and analysis.
She has provided consulting services to executive management in non-profit organizations. Moreover, she remains dedicated to service in the public interest and has served on the Board of Directors of the Fairfield Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the town-appointed Representative and Board Chair of Catchment Area Council 3&4 of the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board. Ms. Houston holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, and a Certificate in Management of Institutional Advancement from the University of Chicago Center for Continuing Studies.
Our help along the way
Owen Granberg, HS Intern
Owen Granberg was a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Connecticut when he worked with B Stigma-Free. He has observed the ways in which stigmatization affects people in his daily life, and has been a part of a number of social groups at school that are dedicated to helping people with autism. He’s determined to work hard to uphold B-Stigma Free’s core message and help in the fight against stigma.
Erin O’Leary was a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Connecticut. She has always had a passion for activism and helping others and saw stigma at school every day around all kinds of things that affect so many people. The stigma of mental health and cancer have impacted her life. She wants to influence change among people who are unaware of these stigmas. She was a part of the Circle of Friends club which aims to end stigma around cognitive disabilities. She was also a part of Arabic club which aims to end stigma around immigration and foreign relationships. She hopes to use her interests in film and writing to end stigma around the world. She is now attending Fairfield University where she will likely be majoring in communications.
Allie DeLuca, HS Intern
Allie DeLuca was a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, Connecticut. During her four years at Ludlowe she witnessed lots situations where she and other students were stigmatized. Allie was diagnosed with dyslexia when in 5th grade, and had the privilege of receiving supports for it in a learning center; here she felt a stigma that others associated with it. During her internship Allie used her interest in film to convey a message that will educate people about reasons that a person may be in a learning center and to better understand people who learn differently than you. In the fall of 2017 Allie started at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts where she is majoring in Communications.
Madeline Horrigan, HS Intern
Madeline Horrigan was a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Connecticut. She is deeply motivated to spread a message of embracing and accepting all people for their differences, and learning to appreciate the wisdom and joy that can be found in embracing the diversity of the human condition. She has volunteered hours at soup kitchens and participated in a Habitat for Humanity mission project, and has made efforts to continue the dialogue about racism, misogyny, and the systemic segregation and lack of racial diversity that affected her school. She has also made efforts to encourage actions to be taken about these issues. Madeline began studying sociology at Norwalk Community College in the fall 2017.
Gillian Quinn, HS Intern
Gillian Quinn was a senior (2016) at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Connecticut. She sees stigma in her high school and around town everyday, and is using her interest in film and photography to promote B Stigma-Free’s message and help end stigma everywhere. Gillian has had experience with two high school clubs, Teens for Tolerance and Circle of Friends, which work to end stigma around cognitive disabilities.
Gillian attends the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She will most likely major in communications and minor in Spanish.
Andrew Burbank, HS Intern
When Andrew Burbank worked with us, he was a 19-year-old senior (2015) at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is well-rounded and personable with a special interest in music. He enjoys a wide variety of musical genres, from the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel to current top 40 hits. He applied his musical talents to B Stigma-Free’s Pinterest board, Songs that b stigma-free, and other music-related projects. Andrew has cerebral palsy (CP), a condition involving brain development and muscle coordination. He works hard and has a positive attitude, and he does not let his disability get in his way. After graduating high school he began post-secondary education, pursuing life skills and job training. (The photo is of Andrew with Bakithi Kumalo, bassist for Paul Simon’s Graceland album.)