Victoria Eberle (not pictured), Stephanie Decembre (pictured on the left), and Gabriella DeMaro (pictured on the right). Standing alongside our two recipients are Board Chairperson Joan Cretella (to the right of Stephanie), daughter of Stella Cretella, and Jessica Simone (to the right of Gabriella), a board member and chair of the scholarship committee.

The Barry Kasdan and The Stella Cretella 2023 Scholarship Recipients:

At the heart of our organization’s mission lies the commitment to promote individual and community health, wellness, and recovery through integrated behavioral services; to further our mission, Bridges created three scholarships of $1,500 for each recipient.

The Barry Kasdan Scholarship is for the Pursuit of a Graduate or Undergraduate Degree in Human Services. The Stella Cretella Scholarship is for those pursuing higher education through graduate or undergraduate degrees focusing on advocacy and policy reform in mental health services.

These scholarships were established by the Bridges’ Board of Directors, the Board Endowment Fund Committee, and the Board Scholarship Committee in honor of Barry Kasdan’s 30+ years of leadership and service to Bridges Healthcare as President and CEO of Bridges and in memory of Stella Cretella’s 40+ years in advocating for mental illness health reform in Connecticut and her 10+ years serving on the Board of Directors at Bridges Healthcare, Inc.

Our Scholarship Committee was honored to award scholarships to remarkable individuals who embody the spirit of helping others. We are thrilled to introduce you to each of the recipients and share their inspiring stories.

Victoria Eberle:

Victoria is a Seymour resident and will pursue her Master’s in Social Work at Springfield College in the fall of 2023, and she will also pursue her JD at Western New England University School of Law. She expressed her desire to help people from a young age and attributes the impact of social workers in her life to her aspiration to positively impact youth. In addition, Victoria serves as Vice President of Communication, Recruitment, and Retention in her school’s chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary; she is an active member of the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha-the Political Science National Honor Society. Upon graduation from both programs, Victoria aims to begin a career in child advocacy law. The Scholarship Committee proudly bestows Victoria the Barry Kasdan Scholarship, recognizing her dedication to making a positive impact and confident that she will excel in her future educational endeavors.

Stephanie Decembre:

Stephanie is a full-time case manager at Bridges, pursuing a Master’s in Counseling and Human Services at Post University. Ever since she was a teenager, she “has always wanted to help anyone who faces struggles in life.” Bridges has motivated her to further her education and become part of the clinician team that provides clients with the tools to continue their daily activities. Stephanie has roughly ten years in the mental health field and is a dedicated and compassionate trilingual student. In addition, she juggles multiple roles as a mother of three, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a full-time student, and a full-time staff member at Bridges. She is committed to helping others in need. The Scholarship Committee is delighted to award Stephanie the Barry Kasdan Scholarship, recognizing her commitment to helping others, and is confident that she will excel in her future educational endeavors.

Gabriella DeMaro:

Gabriella is a resident of Seymour and will be pursuing her Master’s in Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University. Gabriella has always been passionate about helping others and is particularly interested in substance use disorders. Achieving her Master’s in Public Health will allow her a hands-on approach to furthering her knowledge of human behavior while learning other essential factors to ensure the entire population’s health. In addition to treating addiction, she has a passion for advocating for those with addictions. She hopes to help decrease the stigma those with substance use disorders face. Gabriella graduated from Western Connecticut State University a semester early in December 2022 Magna Cum Laude. She worked for BHCare (a sister agency to Bridges) last Summer as a temporary data specialist and got rehired after graduating. After getting hired from her internship, she also works at MCCA Sobering Center as a substance use technician. The Stella Cretella Scholarship is awarded to Gabriella with great pleasure, recognizing her exceptional potential to contribute to public health and aid her future educational endeavors.

We are honored to support these inspiring individuals as they excel in their educational endeavors.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact