The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, recently selected Wilmington University student Tommy Fisher-Klein for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program-Youth (MFP).
This will allow Fisher-Klein to receive funding and training to support his education and facilitate his service to underserved minority populations while focusing on transition-age youth ages 16 to 25.
This is all thanks to a September 2014 grant awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Foundation is contracted by NBCC to administer the program, as well as training and collaboration activities that are open to all national certified counselors. The goal of the program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially- and ethnically-diverse populations by increasing the number of available, culturally competent behavioral health professionals.
The NBCC MFP will distribute $8,000 in education awards to Fisher-Klein and 29 other master’s level counseling students selected to receive them. Fisher-Klein is a graduate of Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania) and is both a student and graduate of Wilmington University, where he is pursuing a master’s in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program from its College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The fellowship will help Fisher-Klein complete his coursework and allow him to seek additional training and conferences to make him a more well-rounded and effective counselor. Upon graduation from WilmU, he would like to work with adolescents and young adults from marginalized communities, especially individuals and families of color, as well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population, to aid them in becoming their ideal selves.
“Our program strives to prepare students to counsel all kinds of people from various cultures and groups,” says Dr. Doris G. Lauckner, chair of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at WilmU’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Our ethics and our CACREP standards/ accreditation dictate that we cannot turn anyone away based on race, culture, gender, sexual identity or orientation etc. As such, our ethics stress that counseling is about the client not the counselor. This requires an emotional, as well as skill preparation to provide counseling to literally anyone. We strive to prepare students by infusing this knowledge and skill training throughout the CMHC program curriculum. However, we also have a special course in counseling diverse populations where students focus on learning about these issues including their own biases with an aim toward ultimately being an effective counselor in a diverse world and profession.”
“Through the NBCC fellowship that Tommy is receiving he will be able to expand upon the foundational training he is receiving in our program so that he can specialize in working with adolescents and young adults who are LGBTQ and families of color. Now more than ever, these individuals and families need help, particularly when we look at teenage suicide rates that are especially high for LGBTQ youth. I congratulate Tommy on receiving this fellowship and am so proud that he has these wonderful career intentions and aspirations.”