Lauren Anderson, Executive Director
Lauren Anderson is a graduate of Langley HS in 2005 and UVA in 2009, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Commerce. She then went on to work as a financial analyst at Brookwood Associates, a middle-market investment banking form in Atlanta, GA. After two years, she returned home in July 2011 to put her energy into The Josh Anderson Foundation, evolving a Memorial Fund into an active Foundation that provides adolescents with the mental health education, resources and support so that they never turn to suicide. Lauren is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches all ages and levels of students – from pre-schoolers to teens and adults.
Laura Beth Williams, Program Manager
Laura Beth obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech. During her undergrad, Williams served as a research assistant in the Center for Applied Behavior Systems (CABS). While in CABS, Williams supported the development and implementation of a school-based training program. Her passion for youth and public service led her to earn a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University in 2016. She has 10+ years of project management, providing customer/client service, and developing customer/client relationships from previous work as an HR Specialist at the Department of Defense, Service & Volunteer Coordinator at Averett University, and Director of Outreach & Philanthropy at Cor Foundation. At the Josh Anderson Foundation, Williams uses her educational background and professional experience to continually develop and enhance the OMM program, collect and analyze implementation data, and provide ongoing support to OMM students and partners.
Catherine Royston, Program Coordinator
Catherine Royston graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, MD in 2014 and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Shortly following graduation, she served in the Peace Corps in the West African nation of Togo. As a community health and malaria prevention volunteer, Catherine largely focused her work on health education at the local clinic, middle school, and in rural surrounding villages. She also helped organize and facilitate the Pathways Togo middle school and high school annual week-long conference which focused on how girls can stay in good health to stay in school. During her service, she was moved by the lack of awareness, dialogue and knowledge surrounding mental illness in her community. At the Josh Anderson Foundation, Catherine will be assisting with the expansion of the Our Minds Matter club to Montgomery County public high schools. Catherine enjoys running, cooking, discovering new music, and listening to the latest podcasts from This American Life and The Daily.
Jen Leyton-Armakan, Ph.D. , Clinical Advisor
Jen (or Dr. Leyton-Armakan) is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Falls Church, VA. She provides individual and family psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults, in both English and Spanish. She is also a part-time clinician at API Associates, a Washington D.C.-based mental health agency, servicing youth at risk for foster care placement or juvenile justice involvement. Jen believes strongly in mental health education and outreach, and has worked closely with community-based prevention initiatives; including programs focused on youth mentoring (Young Women Leaders Program) and cross-cultural dialogue (Sustained Dialogue Campus Network). She is a certified LifeForce Yoga Practitioner and pursues ongoing training in mind-body approaches. Jen also serves as the Mental Health Practitioner Liaison and a board member of the Safe Community Coalition in McLean, Virginia.
Jen is tied to the Josh Anderson Foundation, through personal connection and professional objectives. She grew up with the Anderson family: attended elementary and middle school with Tyler; worked closely with Gillian on a mentoring project for at-risk youth in Charlottesville, VA; and has been dear friends with Lauren since high school. Jen attended Northwestern University, majoring in Human Development & Psychological Services. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia; where her clinical training and research focused on promoting mental health of adolescents and families. Josh’s life and the work of JAF have continued to influence Jen’s perspective as a psychologist.
Danielle Armstrong, Curriculum Curator
Danielle Armstrong is a licensed clinical social worker who is has been a school social worker for the past nine years. In her role, she has helped bring monthly mental wellness school-wide events for students varying from pumpkin painting and cookie decorating to therapy dogs and guided meditations. She is a supporter of mindfulness practices. To provide students with opportunities to practice mindfulness during school, she created a Rejuvenate club and teaches an evidence-based mindfulness curriculum in psychology classes. She has presented on various mental wellness topics at numerous county-wide events, as well as nationwide conferences. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new areas and foods, as well as conquering adventure-related challenges.