The NBCC Foundation works to fulfill its mission to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change through several programs, including awarding scholarships and fellowships to master’s- and doctoral-level counseling students working to improve the mental health of underserved and never-served communities throughout the world.
Alongside financial donations, the Foundation relies on volunteers to help pursue this mission. Volunteers fulfill several important roles with the Foundation, many of them related to the Foundation’s scholarship programs and federally funded Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). Volunteers are essential to the Foundation’s efforts to continue providing scholarship, fellowship, and other funding opportunities to counselors and counseling students. Volunteers provide important services and diverse views and ensure that donations can directly benefit scholars and other program recipients.
Brandice Bell, Volunteer Coordinator at the Foundation, says, “Counselors-in-training benefit greatly by having a veteran counselor guide them as they get their footing in the profession. Whether it be through mentoring or reviewing applications for our highly competitive fellowships and scholarships, time is one of the most valuable resources counselors can donate, and it is one of the most meaningful and impactful ways to give back to a profession that has given us so much.”
Most Foundation volunteer opportunities are conducted partially or entirely remotely and have been since before the pandemic. This has always allowed the Foundation to draw from a larger pool of interested supporters and to match fellows and scholars with mentors based on shared professional interests and compatibility without being hindered by geographic proximity. This existing practice made it easy for volunteers to stay involved throughout the pandemic.
These opportunities are designed so that volunteers can commit the time and attention that suits them. Application reviewers perform the important initial evaluation for scholarships and fellowships. Members of the MFP Advisory Council advise on policy and provide leadership to the counseling profession. Mentors cultivate a professional relationship with a scholar or fellow to provide support and guidance. Presenters and panelists share their work with scholars, fellows, and NCCs through webinars and at conferences.
Bell says, “We are in the beginning stages of matching our 2021 MFP Fellows with their mentors and are always looking for more individuals with unique skill sets to help guide both our fellows and scholars, as well as serve in other crucial areas as volunteers.”
Applications for volunteer mentors and application reviewers are accepted year-round as well as proposals for webinar presenters, which includes a small stipend. The Foundation also hosts various events and trainings throughout the year and will announce those calls for presenters through the monthly Foundation Connections newsletter as well as through Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re ready to volunteer or want to learn more about these opportunities, visit our volunteer webpage.
For more specific questions about volunteer opportunities and eligibility or to get connected with our Volunteer Coordinator, please email Foundation@nbcc.org.
In addition to the year-round opportunities, the Foundation is accepting applications for the 2021–2022 Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Council through Aug. 6, 2021. MFP Advisory Council members promote and support the mission of the NBCC MFP. They serve one-year terms and may be elected to a second one-year term. There are two councils that members can apply to serve on: Mental Health Counseling or Addictions Counseling.
Mental Health Counseling Advisory Council members must be alumni of the NBCC MFP and National Certified Counselors. Addictions Counseling Advisory Council members must be National Certified Counselors through NBCC or hold a certification through the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals. Full eligibility and commitment information is available on the application at https://bit.ly/2021-MFPAC.