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NBCC Foundation Awards $104,000 in Scholarships

Published 1/31/2023


The end of 2022 marked the 13th consecutive year the NBCC Foundation awarded donor-funded scholarships for master’s- or doctoral-level counseling students to aid in their educational journey and training to become licensed mental health counselors and counselor educators. It also marked the 11th year grant-funded scholarships and training awards were provided by the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) to support both counselors and related professionals in their journeys toward obtaining additional credentials to support their work as clinical supervisors, coaches, and telemental health providers.

In 2010, the NBCC Foundation awarded its first 11 donor-funded scholarship awards in the amount of $3,000 each, which supported master’s-level counseling students committed to working with rural or military populations after graduation and upon full licensure and certification. As the Foundation’s scholarship program and donor support has grown over the years, the program is now able to award $8,000 scholarships to students committed to serving these communities after graduation. With the ever-rising cost of education, these awards have proven incredibly valuable in helping to fund each award recipient’s path to become a mental health counselor.

Through generous donor contributions from National Certified Counselors (NCCs), organizations like Mental Health Academy and Psychology Today, endowments such as the Dr. Nicholas A. Vacc Scholarship, and additional public support, the scholarships awarded in 2022 brought the total amount of donor-funded awards given since 2010 to $1,038,000. This funding has supported a total of 176 students in their journeys to becoming counselors and counselor educators.

“This is a wonderful milestone to reach and just goes to show how much each dollar in donor and corporate support helps students across the country and ultimately impacts hundreds of individuals, families, and communities through the work of these counselors,” says Isabel Gomez, Vice President for the Foundation and Professional Services Division of NBCC.

Support for students has helped pay for tuition, books, and additional access to often costly specialty trainings like EMDR or Brainspotting and niche areas such as equine therapy certification. Beyond the financial support each scholarship provides, scholars gain access to a library of NBCC Foundation webinars for continuing education and are matched with a mentor—a professional counselor with years of experience who helps scholars navigate professional development and personal goals.

Program engagement from seasoned counselors is key in sustaining the scholarship program and providing access to valued support and mentorship for counselors-in-training.

The Dr. Nicholas A. Vacc Scholarship was endowed in 2018 in memory of a beloved counselor educator whose work also left a lasting mark on the profession. Dr. Vacc’s investment in counseling beyond the classroom included over 20 years of work to help create and establish the National Counselor Examination in addition to his contributions in the development of national standards for the accreditation of counseling programs. This effort eventually became the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). He was also a long-time champion of the international counseling honor society, Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), helping to establish the Upsilon Nu Chi chapter of CSI at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1986. He later served terms both as editor of Exemplar, CSI International’s newsletter, and as CSI International President.

In 2012, CCE began funding training awards administered by the NBCC Foundation. These awards were established to increase the number of available counselors providing quality career guidance and facilitation and to increase the number of available Board Certified Coaches and CCE Approved Clinical Supervisors. In 2020, and in large part as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCE established a similar training award for those seeking the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider credential.

Each of the 51 CCE award recipients named in late 2022 received funds to help them obtain the required training for their respective sought-after credential. The CCE awards, administered by the NBCC Foundation, will aid recipients in their continued work to be innovators of practices that benefit the communities and individuals with whom they work.

Gomez shares, “We are grateful for the ongoing support of CCE and their board of directors to ensure that counselors and others have additional support in acquiring these credentials and supplementary trainings to enhance their work with clients and in clinical supervision settings.”

The NBCC Foundation Scholarship applications for 2024 awards will open in fall 2023. Awards of $8,000 will be available for master’s-level counseling students enrolled in CACREP-accredited programs who intend to serve either military or rural populations after graduation.

Applications for the Dr. Nicholas A. Vacc Scholarship will also open in fall 2023. The annual award amount is for $5,000, and eligible applicants must be full-time doctoral-level counseling students with a dissertation focus on research and/or testing that strengthens the field of counseling. They must also be enrolled at a CACREP-accredited program and provide documentation of membership in Chi Sigma Iota.

Applications for the 2023 CCE training awards will open through the Foundation’s application portal in May 2023. 

All award applications can be found on the Foundation's website

Congratulations to all the 2022 NBCC Foundation Scholars and CCE Training Award Recipients  

NBCC Foundation Scholars 


  • Marc Fichtner, Capella University
  • Francis Murillo, East Tennessee State University
  • Neisha Stephens, Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Alvoid Yokum, Walden University


  • Daphne Deeren, Spring Arbor University 
  • Eli Evans, Xavier University of Louisiana 
  • Crystal Neff, Grace College 

Dr. Nicholas A. Vacc

  • Kelly Kearns, Syracuse University 

CCE Training Awards

CCE Approved Clinical Supervisor  

  • Leeann Allagas 
  • Michelle Codner 
  • Shelly-Ann Collins Rawle 
  • Bianca Cummings 
  • Janice Davis
  • Corinne Eisenhardt
  • Shavaughn Felder
  • Sharon Fernandez
  • Nashiya Hodge
  • Kelsey Kraemer
  • Amy Mentuck
  • Erik Messinger 
  • Nineshia Mont-Reynaud
  • Amy Proctor
  • Holly Sawyer 
  • Justin Smith
  • Reyna Smith 

Board Certified Coach 

  • Susan Bennett
  • Halley Choy
  • Lisa Gingles
  • La Shaundrea Harris
  • Maria Marcon
  • Frimpong Nyanor 
  • Gayle Smith 

Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider 

  • Matthew Armes
  • John Beninato
  • Janelle Bettis
  • Christina Crain
  • Jessica Danielson
  • Charity Gordon
  • Naziat Hassan
  • Kiri Horsey
  • Jose Iniguez
  • Kertina Kimbrough
  • Diane Lyon
  • David Means
  • Katie Morris
  • Joanna O'Neill
  • Shama Panjwani
  • Ashley Pechek
  • Kellie Pytel
  • Michella Rahming
  • Dustin Reed
  • Lilian Rodriguez
  • Becky Romero
  • Jessicca Shumard
  • Cristyn Smith
  • Emily Spencer
  • Shadoe Underwood
  • Vanessa Villafane Gegory
  • Lisa Wenninger 

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