The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), recently selected Bianca Maria Milz, a graduate student at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program-Addictions Counselors (MFP-AC). As an NBCC MFP-AC Fellow, Milz will receive $15,000 and training to support her education and facilitate her addictions counseling service to underserved minority populations.

A native of Carrizo Springs, Texas, Milz is a 2017 MSUM psychology graduate who earned Magna Cum Laude honors. She is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in clinical mental health and addiction.

Milz, of Fargo, plans to provide services in the community to underserved populations experiencing issues with mental health and addiction.

“I hope to bridge the gap of services among underserved populations and reduce the stigma of utilizing those services so that others can receive the help needed,” Milz said.

Some of the many populations she’d like to serve include individuals from underserved racial and ethnic communities, individuals who identify with the LGBT+ community, and military veterans.

“I am passionate about working with these populations because of my own personal background and experiences,” Milz said. “I will work in support of my loved ones who identify with these communities and the many amazing people I have had the opportunity to meet throughout my life,” she said.

The fellowship will allow Milz to continue advocating for underserved populations, further develop her professional identity as a counselor, and strengthen her knowledge working with underserved populations.

The NBCC MFP-AC is made possible by a grant awarded to the NBCC Foundation in collaboration with the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Foundation administers the MFP-AC, including 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 Foundation MFP will distribute up to $15,000 to Milz and the other 39 masters-level addictions counseling students selected to receive the fellowship award. The NBCC Foundation has also awarded 20 $20,000 doctoral fellowships through the Minority Fellowship Program and 30 $10,000 masters-level fellowships through the MFP-Mental Health Counseling-Master’s (MFP-MHC-M).

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 65,000 board-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.