Article Published: 10/19/2022
NBCC’s federally funded Minority Fellowship Program provides financial support to master’s and doctoral counseling students who commit to serving underserved communities. In this way, the program seeks to increase mental health care availability for traditionally underserved populations. The program is much more than just a monetary award, however. Throughout the year, fellows receive numerous support services from the NBCC Foundation, including training opportunities and mentoring.
The MFP currently has three cohorts: the MFP-MHC (mental health counseling) Doctoral Fellows, the MFP-MHC Master’s Fellows, and the MFP-AC (addictions counseling) Master’s Fellows.
This month, the Foundation held its annual Fall Institute, focused on motivational interviewing with transition-aged youth. The training was facilitated by Dr. Edward Wahesh, associate professor of counseling at Villanova University and a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. Twenty-six master’s fellows came to Greensboro, North Carolina, to attend the training in person. The training provided the fellows with an opportunity to develop a foundational understanding of motivational interviewing.
“Several fellows have stated that the trainings received through the NBCC Foundation provide the opportunity to gain exposure, training, mentorship, and support that they are unable to receive in a standard counseling program,” said Program Director, Dr. Amber Khan. “The NBCC Foundation recognizes the importance of providing resources and training to our fellows so that they are prepared to meet the needs of their clients. We also recognize and provide the support that the fellows need individually to develop in a field that is still in need of voices that belong to and are committed to serving underserved communities.”
Additional experiences await the fellows throughout the fall. Also in October, the MFP-Addiction Counseling (MFP-AC) Fellows attended the 2022 Annual Conference of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NBCC Foundation collaborates with NAADAC to administer the MFP-AC grant and provide a wider range of connections and training in the addiction and substance abuse counseling field. The NBCC Foundation also brought 17 Fellows from the 2021 MFP-AC cohort, allowing them to attend an in-person NAADAC conference after last year’s conference was presented virtually because of the pandemic.
In November, the MFP Doctoral Fellows will attend the 2022 conference of the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), in Baltimore, Maryland. The Foundation alternates each year between taking doctoral fellows to the SACES conference or the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) national conference. SACES is one of the largest regional ACES conference and gives these doctoral fellows an opportunity to network and receive training specific to their goals as future counselor educators and researchers.
The NBCC Foundation is proud to administer the MFP and to provide these support and training opportunities for fellows. NBCC initially received the MFP grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2012, which allowed 24 doctoral fellows to receive $20,000 to support their counseling education and to recognize their commitment to underserved and underrepresented communities.
NBCC received two additional federal MFP grants in 2014, allowing for master’s-level fellowship awards for both mental health counseling and addiction counseling students. The NBCC Foundation now awards 90 fellowships annually to master’s- and doctoral-level students who commit to offering culturally competent mental health or addiction counseling that focuses on underserved and underrepresented populations.
The NBCC Foundation is NBCC’s charitable affiliate. The Foundation also awards scholarships and capacity-building grants, funded by donations. The Foundation’s mission is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. Its primary objectives are to increase the number of counselors and Mental Health Facilitators working with high-priority populations and to engage them in becoming innovators of counseling practices that benefit the underserved.
The NBCC Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2023 Minority Fellowship Program awards. Award amounts range from $10,000–$20,000 and are open to master’s- and doctoral-level counseling students, including those in addiction counseling programs.
The Foundation is also accepting applications for its annual military and rural scholarships, which are awards of $8,000 each and are open to master’s-level counseling students who intend to work with either military or rural populations after graduation.
For detailed information, eligibility requirements for each award, and to apply, visit the Foundation‘s website. The deadline to apply for 2023 awards is Dec. 31, 2022.
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