KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University graduate student has been selected for a coveted addictions counselor fellowship.
Princilla Ursery, who is majoring in clinical mental health counseling and is enrolled in the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse program, was chosen for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program-Addictions Counselors. She was selected for her experience, commitment, hard work and service to transition-age youth from underserved minority populations.
The minority fellowship program was recently expanded after the National Board for Certified Counselors and the NBCC Foundation were awarded two new federal grants to fund fellowships for mental health and addictions counselors-in-training. The foundation is awarding 40 fellowships of up to $11,000 each to master's-level addictions counseling students. Ursery will receive an $11,000 tuition stipend and will be recognized at the May 2015 Minority Fellowship Program orientation meeting. In return, she commits to a minimum of two years of working with adolescents after her graduation.
Ursery currently works full-time as a residential care provider and crisis specialist, providing group therapy, medication management and treatment plans for clients who struggle with suicidal ideation, mental impairment and/or substance use. She also volunteers as a court appointed special advocate with the Kalamazoo Family Court. In that role, she investigates, assesses and identifies resources for children assigned to her and reports their needs, wishes and outcomes to the court.
In addition, she is an active member and volunteer with the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the National Alliance of Mental Illness, working with families who have a loved one with a diagnosed mental illness.
"My overall goal in working in the mental health field is to help transform the lives of individuals that are disenfranchised and marginalized, especially people of color, through advocacy," Ursery says, "and I firmly believe my role…will be to help provide transitional youth and vulnerable populations with a firm sense of empowerment over their lives."
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