The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), selected College of Education & Human Development graduate students Jamian Coleman and Ashlei Rabess for its Minority Fellowship Program for Doctoral Mental Health Counselors.
Coleman and Rabess were two of 20 doctoral students from across the country chosen for the $20,000 doctoral fellowship, which is designed 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.
Coleman is pursuing his doctorate in counselor education and practice and his clinical work focuses on providing counseling services to individuals living with HIV, severe mental illness and those in recovery from substance use. Once he finishes his program, he plans to work with marginalized communities as a professional rehabilitation counselor and seek out a faculty teaching position in a university counselor education and supervision program.
Coleman hopes the fellowship program will help him grow as a professional counselor, researcher and advocate.
“Advocacy is an important part of my professional identity as a counselor, and I hope to discover and implement new ways of advocating for my clients, community and the counseling profession through this fellowship program,” he said. “I look forward to growing and being part of a network of professional counselors who are committed to serving people with marginalized identities, and who recognize the injustices that marginalized people encounter in our world.”
Rabess, who is pursuing her doctorate in counselor education and practice, has worked as a school- and community-based mental health counselor as well as a couple and family therapist in both Florida and Georgia for the past six years. Her research focuses on generational trauma and healing in Black families and communities, and she plans to design and publish an interactive workbook that will serve as a starting point for Black individuals to learn about and work through generational trauma within their families.
As a NBCC Fellow, Rabess hopes to expand her research with Black women and generational trauma.
“With the help of this fellowship program, I intend to build on previous research I’ve conducted on generational trauma in Black women to develop a retreat-style study focused on generational healing in Black women,” she said. “I envision it being an intimate space where Black women come together, learn about historical trauma in Black communities, reflect on their own experiences with generational trauma and develop the skills necessary for addressing and healing generational trauma in their families and communities.”
To learn more about the NBCC Foundation and its fellows, please visit www.nbccf.org/Programs/Fellows.