Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Counseling master’s student Amie Begg has received a national fellowship to support her education and facilitate her addictions counseling service to underserved minority youth.

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellowship Program-Addictions Counselors (MFP-AC) is awarded annually. The program’s goal is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for diverse populations by increasing the available number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals.

Begg and the 33 other master’s-level addictions counseling students will receive an $11,000 award. She will continue working with minority youth in varying stages of substance use when she graduates next May.

Begg has been in long-term recovery herself for nearly 12 years and has worked as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor for 11. She intends to use the fellowship to expand her work, exposing urban youth to outdoor recreation and integrating experiential therapeutic practices.

“Adventure therapy and getting involved in the outdoors can be transformational to those who may suffer from substance abuse,” she said. “Getting adolescents involved in adventure sports could be an integral part of helping them recover.”

She would like to focus on marginalized adolescents who typically do not have the opportunity to experience adventure sports, in hopes of diverting them from substances.

Begg said her passion for exposing youth to adventure sports emerges from their role in her own recovery. She became involved with outdoor recreation early in the recovery process and now excels in the field. She is the first female whitewater kayaker to descend the Blue Nile in Ethiopia and the Upper Amazon in Peru. She also is a member of a skydiving team that will compete in nationals in September.

Begg’s fellowship is possible by a grant awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in September 2014.

“It has been an honor and privilege to accept this fellowship and bring what I can to the field of addiction,” Begg said. “I look forward to dedicating many years to come to helping adolescents recover.”

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.