The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), recently selected NIU graduate student Diana Mondragon of Oswego for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program-Youth (MFP-Y). As an NBCC MFP-Y Fellow, Mondragon will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations, with a specific focus on transition age youth (ages 16–25).
The NBCC MFP-Y is made possible by a grant awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in September 2014. The Foundation is contracted by NBCC to administer the NBCC MFP-Y, 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 reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the available number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals.
The NBCC MFP will distribute $5,000 to Mondragon and the 39 other master’s-level counseling students selected to receive the fellowship award. Mondragon is both a student and graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling. Mondragon intends to serve all her students but would like to work closely with the Latino population. This fellowship will help her reach her goals by providing financial assistance to ensure she graduates. Mondragon is also excited about the training resources and the funds to attend conferences to continue her education about minority populations. Trends and issues in the counseling field are constantly changing, and she feels that it is important to attend professional development opportunities to remain competent.
The Foundation plans to open the next NBCC MFP-Y application period in September 2015. To learn more about the NBCC MFP and its fellows, please visit www.nbccf.org.