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Appalachian’s Juliana J. Blanton receives $8,000 award from the NBCC Foundation; will receive training in the counseling of underserved minority populations

By University Communications

BOONE, N.C.—Juliana J. Blanton of Boone, who is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in the clinical mental health counseling program at Appalachian State University, has received a fellowship that includes $8,000 to defray the costs of her education as well as training in the counseling of underserved minority populations, specifically those ages 16 to 25.

View larger imagePhoto courtesy of Juliana Blanton

The award comes from the NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the Greensboro-based National Board for Certified Counselors, and it is a highlight of the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program-Youth (NBCC MFP-Y).

The goal of NBCC MFP-Y is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals. During her fellowship, Blanton will attend conferences, training sessions and workshops with a multicultural counseling focus.

In return, she will provide counseling services to minorities over the two-year period of her fellowship. The services will be part of a counseling licensure process that includes students working under the supervision of a fully licensed counselor.

Blanton is among 30 master’s-level counseling students across the country this year to receive an $8,000 fellowship.

She is finishing her first year in Appalachian’s clinical mental health counseling program, which offers advanced preparation for counselors and other helping professionals who work in a variety of human service agencies, such as mental health centers, social service agencies as well as business and industry.

After graduating, Blanton plans to work at a university or college counseling center, as she said she is particularly drawn to counseling young adults and multicultural populations and would enjoy working with students at such a formative time of their lives. She would also like to collaborate with organizations that provide mental health counseling and expressive arts therapy to young adult minorities, immigrants and refugees.

NBCC contracts with the NBCC Foundation to administer the NBCC MFP-Y, as well as training and collaboration activities, such as webinars, that are open to all National Certified Counselors. NBCC MFP-Y is made possible by a grant awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2014.

The NBCC Foundation has also awarded 23 $20,000 doctoral fellowships through the Minority Fellowship Program and 31 master’s-level fellowships of up to $11,000 through the MFP-Addictions Counselors (MFP-AC).

The foundation plans to open the next NBCC MFP-Y application period in September 2017. To learn more about the NBCC MFP and its fellows, visit

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 60,000 National 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. Learn more at

About Appalachian’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Appalachian’s accredited, 60-hour master’s degree program in clinical mental health counseling prepares graduates for the examination to become National Certified Counselors. The program offers advanced preparation for counselors and other helping professionals who work in a variety of human service agencies, such as mental health centers, social service agencies as well as business and industry. The program is housed in the Reich College of Education’s Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.