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Marlon Johnson, doctoral student in Counselor Education, was one of 23 chosen for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program (NBCC MFP) and has received an award of $20,000 to support his education, and facilitate his service to underserved minority populations.

Marlon Johnson, Counselor Ed“I’m awestruck at the opportunity to receive this award. It’s an honor to be presented a chance to use research and education in a way that advocates for underrepresented communities within our local, regional, and national environment. It feels encouraging as this award is a conglomeration of my efforts and the many efforts of others who have mentored me and guided me along the way.”

Johnson focuses his research on enhancing opportunities of access and equity for underrepresented communities to enter counselor training programs. He seeks to understand the unique stories of people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ persons as they continue through master’s-level counseling programs. As a graduate research assistant for the University of Tennessee’s Possibilities in Postsecondary Education and Science (PiPES) and Appalachian Students Promoting the Integration of Research in Education (ASPIRE) program, Johnson seeks to identify the unique needs of rural Appalachian students at various developmental levels as they learn about STEMM-related fields of study. This fellowship will allow Johnson to better serve these communities through participation in various trainings, conferences, and organizations focused upon community-oriented scholarship and intentional research practices. This fellowship will also provide continued mentorship to help Johnson develop as a researcher, an advocate, and a leader.

“I’m just grateful for each person I have been able to encounter here at UT and specifically those within EPC. I’m thankful for their support and encouragement. I hope to make them proud as I research and advocate for my profession and my community.”

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 64,000 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.

The NBCC MFP is made possible by a grant first awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in August 2012. The Foundation is contracted by NBCC to administer the NBCC MFP, as well as training and collaboration activities, such as webinars, that are open to all National Certified Counselors (NCCs). The goal of the program is 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.

The NBCC Foundation has also awarded 30 $8,000 master’s-level fellowships through the MFP-Youth (MFP-Y) and 34 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 application period in fall 2018. To learn more about the NBCC MFP and its fellows, please visit