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Sonia E. Gooden-Alexis Awarded $20,000 Counseling Fellowship From NBCC and Affiliates

The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), recently selected Sonia E. Gooden-Alexis, of Durham, North Carolina, for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program (NBCC MFP). Gooden-Alexis is a student in the Doctor of Education in Counselor Education & Supervision program at Argosy University, Northern Virginia. As an NBCC MFP fellow, Gooden-Alexis will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations.

The NBCC MFP is made possible by a grant first awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in August 2012. The Foundation is contracted by NBCC to administer the NBCC MFP, as well as training and collaboration activities, such as webinars, that are open to all National Certified Counselors (NCCs). The goal of the program is to strengthen the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increases the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations.

The NBCC MFP will distribute $20,000 to Gooden-Alexis and the 22 other doctoral counseling students selected to receive the fellowship award. Gooden-Alexis is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston and of Cambridge College, in Massachusetts, and is currently a doctoral student in the Counselor Education & Supervision program at Argosy University, Northern Virginia. Gooden-Alexis is vested in amplifying cultural awareness within the counseling profession. Her research has been focused on increasing awareness in regards to community violence, the impact that community violence has on underserved populations, and how counselors are prepared to provide counseling services to clients that have experienced community violence. As a counselor, mentor, educator and supervisor, Gooden-Alexis stresses the importance of educating her colleagues, counselors-in-training and members of the community on the influences that affect one's cultural perception. The underserved population consists of many individuals that reside in high-crime communities. It is important that counselors are equipped with skills and alert to cultural factors that impact this population and subsequently the effectiveness of treatment that is provided. Since completing her master’s in mental health counseling in 2002, Gooden-Alexis has been committed to working with nonprofit agencies that serve individuals with limited resources, challenges with substance abuse, and trauma exposure within their inner-city communities. This fellowship allows Gooden-Alexis the opportunity to further explore and develop her research in this area. Gooden-Alexis can share the information she collects with others in the form of workshops, presentations and publications, and she will be able to increase community involvement by engaging in advocacy efforts. This fellowship will also support her in furthering her education and training to increase her competence as a counselor, educator and supervisor for those that work with underserved minority populations.

The NBCC Foundation has also awarded 30 $8,000 master’s-level fellowships through the MFP-Youth (MFP-Y) and 31 master’s-level fellowships of up to $11,000 through the MFP-Addictions Counselors (MFP-AC).The Foundation plans to open the next NBCC MFP application period in September 2017. To learn more about the NBCC MFP and its fellows, please visit www.nbccf.org/Programs/Fellows.

ABOUT THE NBCC FOUNDATION
The NBCC Foundation is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), based in Greensboro, North Carolina. NBCC is the nation’s premier professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. Currently, there are more than 60,000 National Certified Counselors in the United States and more than 50 countries. The Foundation’s mission is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change.

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