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Doctoral Fellows

NBCC Foundation Addiction Counseling Fellows

Riley Anderson – Corpus Christi, Texas

Riley Anderson – Corpus Christi, Texas

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow , Anderson will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Anderson is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University and is currently a master’s student in the addictions counseling program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

Upon graduation, Anderson intends to work with adults in recovery and seeking substance abuse treatment, and to particularly serve the Spanish-speaking and Hispanic population in Corpus Christi. She hopes to work in a residential setting with women who are in recovery and survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault and violence. Anderson intends to help her clients heal from the traumas of their past and learn to cope in healthy ways. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend specific trainings and conferences relevant to the population she wants to serve, as well as gain a better understanding of the evidence-based practices she can use to serve the underserved.


Kathryn Lawhon Archer – Nashville, Tennessee

Kathryn Lawhon Archer – Nashville, Tennessee

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Archer will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Archer is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Lipscomb University.

Upon graduation, Archer plans to work with adolescents who struggle with substance abuse, and especially those who live in marginalized communities where mental health resources are inaccessible. She is passionate about helping people with an addiction to process their underlying trauma, and hopes to gain competencies in trauma-focused addiction treatment throughout the fellowship. In addition to her focus on addiction and substance use disorders, she plans to specialize in play therapy and is drawn toward experiential therapies like adventure therapy, wilderness therapy, and expressive arts therapy. This fellowship will allow Archer to gain knowledge about treating addiction in underserved populations and will connect her with mentors who will help guide her on her journey to become a humble, competent clinician.


Sheila A. Atwater – Clarkdale, Arizona

Sheila A. Atwater – Clarkdale, Arizona

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Atwater will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Atwater is a graduate of Prescott College and is currently a master’s student in the addiction counseling program at Grand Canyon University.

Upon graduation, Atwater intends to work with individuals age 1825. She plans to work with clients of all nationalities and those who identify as LGBTQ+. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend counseling conferences to establish a stronger professional identity as a counselor, to learn evidence-based practices to better serve the underserved populations, and to advocate for the counseling profession.


Ryan W. Austin – Suwanee, Georgia

Ryan W. Austin – Suwanee, Georgia

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Austin will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Austin is a graduate of the University of Georgia and is currently a master’s student in the addiction counseling program at the University of North Georgia.

After graduating, Austin plans to work with rural families and individuals that have been affected by addiction, specifically where access to services and treatment is limited. He also would like to work with the LGBTQ community whenever possible. Austin has a passion for working with any minority community that is often underserviced and is eager to explore opportunities to do so once he graduates. Earning this fellowship will allow him to attend counseling conferences and professional trainings that further his understanding of addiction; provide him appropriate approaches for addictions counseling; and create connections with like-minded, passionate professionals.


Mariela Castillo Garcia – Aurora, Colorado

Mariela Castillo Garcia – Aurora, Colorado

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Castillo Garcia will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Castillo Garcia is a graduate of Fort Lewis College and is currently a master’s student in the clinical behavioral health program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, with an emphasis on addiction counseling.

Upon graduation, Castillo Garcia intends to work with individuals from minority populations, especially people of color who are struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. Castillo Garcia is bilingual and wants to bridge the language barrier gap for Spanish-speaking clients who have not received treatment due to being non-English speakers. Through this fellowship, she willgain meaningful experience and education in working with clients from diverse backgrounds in order to better serve underrepresented communities.


Julia Brooke Claborn – Oneida, Tennessee

Julia Brooke Claborn – Oneida, Tennessee

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Claborn will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Claborn is a graduate of Roane State Community College and Tennessee Technological University, and is currently a master’s student in the addiction counseling program at the University of the Cumberlands.

Upon graduation, Claborn plans to work in a rural Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care with integrated behavioral health and addiction treatment. Her focus will be on working with adults and adolescents with substance use disorder and medication-assisted treatment, as these types of services are often limited in rural areas. Being able to offer treatment to minority communities will also help her provide person-centered wraparound services. Earning this fellowship provides opportunities for Claborn to grow professionally and help her to be a supportive advocate and clinician working to decrease stigma related to addiction treatment. She is grateful for this opportunity to promote the counseling profession and the area of addiction treatment.


N'Dea Coleman – Benson, North Carolina

N'Dea Coleman – Benson, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Coleman will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Coleman is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at North Carolina Central University.

Coleman intends to work with individuals who have experienced sexual abuse or substance use issues. She plans to primarily serve minorities who are traditionally marginalized and underserved, providing aid that in turn increases their quality of life. Being awarded this fellowship will provide her the opportunity to attend counseling trainings to enhance her professional identity as a counselor and to better accommodate marginalized and unserved communities.


Angelica Moana Crimmins – Portland, Oregon

Angelica Moana Crimmins – Portland, Oregon

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Crimmins will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Crimmins is a graduate of Southern Oregon University and is currently a master’s student in the professional mental health counseling program with a specialization in addictions at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

Crimmins' work as a counselor centers around decreasing health disparities and de-stigmatizing mental health treatment for BIPOC women and femmes, especially those living with disabilities and substance use disorders. She is an advocate for decriminalizing addiction and integrating restorative justice and harm reduction approaches to addiction treatment.

Upon graduation, she intends to serve historically minoritized and oppressed populations in her native Hawaii. As an NBCC Foundation MFP Fellow, Crimmins looks forward to forming connections with other counseling professionals and embracing the exciting educational opportunities that will her become a more effective counselor. This fellowship will grant her access to valuable learning experiences and allow her to feel more stable and present for her clients and her community.


Daniel Divine – San Antonia, Texas

Daniel Divine – San Antonia, Texas

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Divine will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Divine is a graduate of Texas A&M University and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program with a concentration in addictions studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Velvet Alicia Lilith~Victoria Azshara Divine – Netcong, New Jersey

Velvet Alicia Lilith~Victoria Azshara Divine – Netcong, New Jersey

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Divine will receive $15,000 to support faer counseling education and recognize faer commitment to underserved communities. Divine is a graduate of and current a master’s student in the addiction counseling program at Montclair State University.

Upon graduation, Divine intends to work with LGBTQIA+ youth, particularly those who identify as transgender, nonbinary, and other gender nonconforming. Fae would also like to work with other marginalized populations, especially ethnic minorities and BIMPOC (Black Indigenous Mixed People of Color) and immigrant communities where language barriers and sociocultural values may prove hurdles in accessing mental health services. This fellowship will allow faer to attend counseling conferences in order to learn evidence-based practices to better serve the populations in question and continue to advocate for both the counseling profession and LGBTQIA+ visibility.


Desiree Falkowski – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Desiree Falkowski – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Falkowski will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Falkowski is a graduate of Winona State University and is currently a master’s student in the mental health and addiction counseling program at Marquette University.

Upon graduation, Falkowski's goal is to work with members of the African-American population who are diagnosed with comorbid substance use and mental health disorders. She wants to work with individuals who often do not have access to affordable and culturally competent mental health services. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend educational conferences to further expand her knowledge on culturally competent evidence-based practices and learn from other professionals. This fellowship experience will provide her with the opportunity to build her professional identity and counseling skillset.


Brittany Fields – Cincinnati, Ohio

Brittany Fields – Cincinnati, Ohio

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Fields will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Fields is a graduate of Miami University and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Xavier University.

Upon graduation, Fields intends to work with adults in the substance use population to help them on their journey of recovery. She also hopes to work in the future with young ladiesto address issues of self-esteem and self-care. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend trainings and conferences to increase her clinical skills to better assist the substance use population, advocate for treatment and mental health services in the African-Americian community, and represent African-American female counselors in the suburban area of Cincinnati.


Kayla Fields – Greenville, North Carolina

Kayla Fields – Greenville, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Fields will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Fields is both a graduate of and current addictions counseling master’s student at East Carolina University.


Hilary J. Flint – Greensboro, North Carolina

Hilary J. Flint – Greensboro, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Flint will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Flint is a graduate of Guilford College and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program in the department of addictions and rehabilitation studies at East Carolina University.

Upon graduation, Flint intends to work with youth and young adults, particularly those with gender expansive identities and individuals who identify within the affectional/sexual identity spectrum. Flint is especially interested in working with low-income and uninsured individuals. This fellowship will allow her to gain professional experience and insight into the field of addictions counseling, particularly working with youth with intersecting identities. The fellowship will also provide opportunities to attend trainings, webinars, and conferences to strengthen her skillset as a counselor; network with other professionals in mental health counseling; and establish a strong professional identity.

Flint considers herself a lifelong learner and is invested in continuing to challenge herself in her approaches to counseling. This fellowship will allow her to expand the interventions she uses and gain insight into additional evidence-based practices, particularly those centered on working with youth with marginalized identities. Flint is also interested in focusing on trauma-informed care, as well as gaining competency in treating co-occurances of trauma within substance abuse.

She is invested in social justice and impacting social transformation, and firmly believes that in order to effectively work within this field, counselors must understand and address race-based trauma and the complexities of intersectional identities. Additionally, Flint is invested in advancing antiracism within the profession of counseling and field of mental healthcare. This entails not only working and collaborating with communities most affected by racism and gender-based oppression, but actively working toward dismantling the systems that perpetuate these structures of power.


Erika Sharday Franklin – Marianna, Arkansas

Erika Sharday Franklin – Marianna, Arkansas

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Franklin will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Franklin is a graduate of Strayer University and is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the addictions counseling program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Upon graduation, Franklin intends to work with individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families. She plans to start her own nonprofit to better advocate, educate, and empower youth, especially young girls, about drug prevention in addition to health and wellness. She believes in “reach one, teach one”, which to her means that every moment allowed is always a teaching moment for her professional career as well as her personal growth. Effective prevention avoids the need for later intervention.

Born in Germany but raised in one of the poorest small towns in Arkansas, Franklin intends to help raise awareness and provide education to communities in the Delta region. Earning this fellowship will allow her to establish networking connections and build a foundation for a strong identity as a counselor.


Sophia C. Gaffney – Snohomish, Washington

Sophia C. Gaffney – Snohomish, Washington

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Gaffney will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Gaffney is a graduate of the University of San Diego and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Seattle University.

After graduation, Gaffney plans to work with currently and formerly incarcerated individuals who are struggling with addiction. She also plans to work primarily with low-income individuals who are typically underserved in the world of mental health and addiction treatment. The opportunities, education, and experience gained from this fellowship with allow her to better serve her future clients and communities.


Elizabeth Keel Haarberg – Kearney, Nebraska

Elizabeth Keel Haarberg – Kearney, Nebraska

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Haarberg will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Haarberg is a graduate of Texas Christian University and Oklahoma State University, and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Haarberg resides in a rural area of Nebraska and plans to work with the local underserved population. She hopes to raise awareness of overcoming substance abuse and increase mental health opportunities for those in need of services. After graduation, she plans to open a private practice. The fellowship provides opportunities to extend her network and education in the addiction arena. She views conferences, education, and receiving guidance from mentors and other counselors as the most valuable opportunities of this fellowship. After months of having limited contact in the counseling arena due to COVID-19, she is excited to participate in her professional community.


Amrita Heer – Renton, Washington

Amrita Heer – Renton, Washington

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Heer will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Heer is a graduate of the University of Washington and is currently a master’s student in the school counseling program at Seattle University.

Upon completing her master's degree, Heer plans to be a counselor within the community she grew up in. She intends to work and collaborate with youth, families, and community members in Renton with an emphasis on substance use support. This fellowship will allow her to connect with other counseling professionals and receive support to create successful strategies and plans.


Raquel Hightower – Lakeview, Oregon

Raquel Hightower – Lakeview, Oregon

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Hightower will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Hightower is a graduate of Luther Rice College and the University of Phoenix, and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Capella University.

Upon graduation, Hightower intends to work within a rural community providing substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders counseling services. She particularly wants to serve culturally and geographically diverse socioeconomic sets, age groups, spiritual traditions, minority persons (including LGBTQ+), and those who are veterans or are from military families. She plans to work with individuals who are often marginalized, such as individuals within the court system living in rural areas, where aftercare services are typically lacking. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend counseling conferences to establish a stronger professional identity as an alcohol and drug counselor and mental health counselor, build upon evidence-based practices to better assist underserved populations, and advocate for the counseling profession and the diverse individuals whose voices are unheard.


Thanh D. Hoang – Portland, Oregon

Thanh D. Hoang – Portland, Oregon

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Hoang will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Hoang is a graduate of Indiana University and is currently a master’s student in the professional mental health counseling program with a specialization in addictions at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

Upon graduation, Hoang intends to work with the Asian-American population, specifically with adults dealing with substance use and problem gambling. She hopes to work specifically with the large Vietnamese population in the Portland, Oregon area. Earning this fellowship will give her the freedom to volunteer with the Asian-American population in the area to begin developing those community connections. To better serve this community, Hoang plans to take Vietnamese lessons to develop her language skills from conversant to fluent.


Tiffnii Pulley Hughes – Raleigh, North Carolina

Tiffnii Pulley Hughes – Raleigh, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Hughes will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Hughes is a graduate of Old Dominion University and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Liberty University.

This fellowship will allow Hughes to expand her addiction counseling career to not only provide substance abuse treatment but also mental health counseling to incarcerated individuals of different ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and gender identities. It will also afford her opportunities to counsel underserved minority communities in the inner city, enhance her professional counseling identity, and help reduce the negative stigma associated with obtaining mental health or substance abuse services.


Domonique G. Kent – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Domonique G. Kent – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Kent will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Kent is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program with a specialization in addictions counseling at Marquette University.

Kent intends to work with adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and other co-occurring disorders. In particular, she is interested in working with ethnic minorities living in the inner city, who may not have access to affordable mental health treatment. Earning this fellowship will give her the opportunity to network with other mental health professionals and learn ways to better serve and advocate for underrepresented communities.


Brian S. Kim – Waco, Texas

Brian S. Kim – Waco, Texas

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Kim will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Kim is a graduate of Texas A&M University and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Tarleton University.

Upon graduation, Kim intends to work with active-duty service members and veterans who experience trauma, addiction, and anxiety. He hopes to advocate for therapy for these military populations in which mental health is regularly stigmatized. As a long-term goal, he plans to open a private practice to offer free counseling to individuals from minority communities who are not able to receive mental health services due to their financial situation. Earning this scholarship will allow Kim to establish a strong base in the fundamentals of counseling to pay it forward to underserved populations in the near future.


Aspen Destiny Mares-Toledo – Commerce City, Colorado

Aspen Destiny Mares-Toledo – Commerce City, Colorado

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Mares-Toledo will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Mares-Toledo is both a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver and current master’s student in the clinical behavioral health program with an emphasis in addiction counseling.

Mares-Toledo is a Certified Addiction Specialist in the state of Colorado and has been a professional in the addictions field for four years. Upon graduation, she plans to practice as a Licensed Addiction Counselor and work to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. She intends to work with indigent populations who also struggle with co-occurring disorders. She currently volunteers with the Homelessness Reduction Outreach Team and the Harm Reduction Action Center in Denver. Earning this fellowship will allow her to connect with other behavioral health professionals who share the same goal of helping minority populations. Mares-Toledo is eager to gain additional skills and education to be a knowledgeable and trauma-informed therapist.


Eduardo Medina, Jr. – Des Moines, Washington

Eduardo Medina, Jr. – Des Moines, Washington

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Medina will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Medina is a graduate of Pierce College and Washington State University, and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Seattle University.


Eva D. Melendez – DeMotte, Indiana

Eva D. Melendez – DeMotte, Indiana

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Melendez will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Melendez is a graduate of Purdue University North Central and is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the clinical addictions counseling program at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Upon graduation, Melendez intends to work with the underserved rural communities in which she was raised. Melendez has a special interest in both the prevention and recovery from substance abuse in these areas. Rural communities are more likely than their urban counterparts to have higher rates of substance misuse and are less likely to have access to the treatment of substance use disorders. Melendez has an interest in advocating for those struggling with substance use disorders within the criminal justice system and fighting against the unique accessibility barriers that rural communities experience. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend counseling conferences to establish a strong network of mentors and colleagues, learn evidence-based practices to better serve rural populations, and advocate for the counseling profession.


Ericka F. Morrison – Bowling Green, Kentucky

Ericka F. Morrison – Bowling Green, Kentucky

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Morrison will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Morrison is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University and is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Western Kentucky University.

Morrison plans to work in rural communities that service ethnic minorities suffering from addictions. This fellowship will allow her to complete her clinical mental health counseling degree while obtaining the knowledge needed to serve individuals with addictions. She will also be able to attend conferences and strengthen her knowledge of addictions counseling while making connections in the counseling community.


Ryn Prestia Schear – Lake Oswego, Oregon

Ryn Prestia Schear – Lake Oswego, Oregon

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Prestia Schear will receive $15,000 to support their counseling education and recognize their commitment to underserved communities. Prestia Schear is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver and is currently a master’s student in the professional mental health counseling program with a specialization in addiction at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

Upon graduation, Prestia Schear intends to work with transgender clients or anyone else on the gender-questioning spectrum. They would like to offer support during transition or gender exploration stages. Theyplan to continue their work using theater to advocate for social equity and justice, encourage civil discourse, and energize the development of community and organizational leadership. In a world of constant change, Ryn strives to create healthy pathways to examine, dissect, and engage transgender issues and others that impact community.


Lori J. Price – Baltimore, Maryland

Lori J. Price – Baltimore, Maryland

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Price will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Price is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at the University of Phoenix.

Price's focus is on helping the LGBTQ and other underserved minority communities, children and adolescents, and communities in inner cities and rural areas. She believes her purpose in life is to be a beacon of light for others. In 2013, she had the opportunity to be on the A&E TV network show Beyond Scared Straight in the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center in Centreville, Maryland. She feels it was an honor and privilege to talk to the children there. This experience made helping families a top priority for her life and work.


Marchita L. Pridget – Reisterstown, Maryland

Marchita L. Pridget – Reisterstown, Maryland

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Pridget will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Pridget is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the addiction Counseling program at Coppin State University.


Angus Raymond – Storm Lake, Iowa

Angus Raymond – Storm Lake, Iowa

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Raymond will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Raymond is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Adler University.

Upon graduation, Raymond intends to continue working as a substance use disorder counselor providing services with a focus on education and prevention to the immigrant and refugee population in his rural community, particularly teens and young adults. He also plans to offer counseling services to the LGBTQ+ population who struggle with a lack of resources and representation. Social justice advocacy and education are his passions, and Raymond hopes to utilize this fellowship to both aid his studies and increase his training and professional skills to enable him to better serve rural, minority, and LGBTQ+ populations.


Lina M. Rios – Goldsboro, North Carolina

Lina M. Rios – Goldsboro, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Rios will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Rios is a graduate of Lenoir Community College and is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program with a concentration in addictions and rehabilitation at East Carolina University.

Upon graduation, Rios intends to work with underserved marginalized populations, including youth, in underprivileged areas in Eastern North Carolina. She would like to work with transition-age youth who are marginalized and stigmatized because of their disabilities or addictions. Many individuals who reside in impoverished areas of rural North Carolina have little or no community access to mental health services or addiction-rehabilitation and are in critical need of assistance.

She believes it is important that everyone, including ethnic subgroups, underprivileged families, disabiled minorities, and rural communities should have access to mental health services including addictions and rehabilitation services. Earning this fellowship will allow her to attend counseling conferences to engage in professional, educational, and community seminars, webinars, and networking practices to help build her professional identity as a counselor. Learning evidence-base practices, participating in team-building, developing awareness, and training in therapeutic treatment-planning will allow her to better serve and advocate for these populations.


Alexis Brianna Rutledge – Columbus, Georgia

Alexis Brianna Rutledge – Columbus, Georgia

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Rutledge will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Rutledge is both a graduate of and current master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Columbus State University.

Upon graduation, Rutledge intends to serve minorities within prisons as a correctional treatment facilitator. She plans to work in prisons to combat the harmful and all-too-common viewpoint that incarcerated people are less deserving of help than than individuals who are not incarcerated. Rutledge also hopes to work with boys in low-income areas, making programs and services such as group counseling available to them as an alternative to punishments such as suspensions and detention. Earning this fellowship will allow Rutledge to make professional connections that were previously out of her reach.


Ruhaniyyih Sabeti – Seattle, Washington

Ruhaniyyih Sabeti – Seattle, Washington

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Sabeti will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Sabeti is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University and is currently a master’s student in the addictions counseling program at Grand Canyon University.

Upon completion of her master’s program, Sabeti intends to serve and provide therapy for legally mandated clients who face homelessness, co-occurring disorders, and health inequity. She hopes to provide individual and group counseling for people who have legal involvement, face criminal offenses, or are required to take substance use treatment classes. By earning this fellowship, she will foster professionalism and competency in the field of addiction counseling, learn and apply ethical values, and develop techniques and skills in therapeutic interventions to better serve under-resourced and underserved populations.


Megan K. Shea – Boone, North Carolina

Megan K. Shea – Boone, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Shea will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Shea is a graduate of Simmons University and Messiah University, and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program with concentraion in couples and family counseling and a certificate in addictions counseling at Appalachian State University.

Upon completing her master's program, Shea hopes to serve incarcerated people and others within the justice system who lack access to addiction services. She has a passion for group work as well and intends to facilitate psychotherapy groups focused on recovery from co-occurring disorders. Shea also has an interest in working with families and couples seeking mental health counseling, especially those in her own rural Appalachian community. The MFP-AC will give her professional and peer support and connections, with many opportunities to further her education in the addictions field. She is honored and grateful to be a part of this fellowship program.


Samantha Singh – Portland, Oregon

Samantha Singh – Portland, Oregon

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Singh will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Singh is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College and is currently a master’s student in the professional mental health counseling program with a specialization in addiction program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

Upon graduation, Singh intends to work with adults experiencing co-occurring diagnoses, including mental health and processing/substance use diagnoses. Singh is devoted to working with the Latinx population in rural areas of Oregon. Earning this fellowship is an excellent opportunity for Singh to further develop her academic and clinical skills to better serve marginalized communities.


Noah B. Stein – Denver, Colorado

Noah B. Stein – Denver, Colorado

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Stein will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Stein is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program with a concentration in addictions at the counseling psychology department at the University of Denver.

Upon graduation, Stein intends to work with adolescents dealing with mental health and substance use challenges in intensive outpatient and residential treatment settings. Stein is additionally interested in working with individuals who have experienced trauma. He is excited to attend conferences and connect with peers and mentors through this fellowship to gain valuable knowledge for his journey in the mental health field, and specifically for working with underserved populations.


Claire Elizabeth Sutton – Raleigh, North Carolina

Claire Elizabeth Sutton – Raleigh, North Carolina

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Sutton will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Sutton is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Liberty University.

Upon graduation, Sutton intends to work with and serve the mental health and substance abuse needs of racial and ethnic minority groups in rural underserved areas. Earning this fellowship will award her opportunities to establish a strong network of fellow counselors, experience new learning opportunities through conferences and webinars, and become a strong advocate for the mental health needs of her community.


Pamela Sue Waters – Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Pamela Sue Waters – Pine Bluff, Arkansas

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Waters will receive $15,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to underserved communities. Waters is a graduate of the University of Phoenix and is currently a master’s student in the addiction studies program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Upon graduation, Waters intends to assist minorities in her local community by demonstrating knowledge of and experience with racially and ethnically diverse populations. She is committed to providing mental health and substance abuse services to underserved minority populations. She plans to establish a nonprofit organization to serve formerly incarcerated women and children with community outreach services. Waters hopes her faith and passion for seeing people spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy will help her to accomplish her goals. Earning the fellowship will assist her in building partnerships and identifying the tools necessary to introduce new practices that broaden the scope of self-help groups for minorities in rural communities. She also plans to provide mentoring, outreach, and treatment services to spread awareness among minorities in her local community about the consequences of drug misuse.


Alvoid Yokum – Carson City, Nevada

Alvoid Yokum – Carson City, Nevada

As a Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counseling Fellow, Yokum will receive $15,000 to support his counseling education and recognize his commitment to underserved communities. Yokum is a graduate of Metropolitan State University and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Walden University.

Upon graduation, Yokum plans to work with veterans, particularly those from military populations dealing with post-deployment addiction and those who experience PTSD. He hopes to contribute to a mental health care system that leaves no vet behind. Earning this fellowship is an excellent opportunity for Yokum to further develop and hone his knowledge and skills, and it provides him with opportunities to connect with other professionals, build expertise, and better serve these underserved populations.


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