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Eagles Celebrate Selection of 3 NBCC Fellows

Larry LaMont Joe Jr.
Micheale Lynn Collie

A trio of N.C. Central University master’s students were awarded $15,000 each by the National Board for Certified Counselors to continue their education in counseling.

The August awards named Larry LaMont Joe Jr., Micheale Lynn Collie and Kristie H. Pierson (not pictured) as fellows in the NBCC’s Minority Fellowship Program-Addiction Counselors.

Collie said her journey to receiving her master’s degree has been long and arduous. Eighteen years ago, she had to drop out of graduate school after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She eventually became fully physically disabled and was convinced she would never work again.

By 2013, Collie’s illness had gone into full remission, so she decided to return to school and pursue the field that she loved.

“I chose NCCU for my master’s studies for several reasons: the location, the affordability of the school and, most importantly, the reputation of the counseling program,” she said.

Collie said that as a counselor-in-training, she was taught to examine her own beliefs and biases in order to better understand her clients’ worldviews. After graduation, she plans to work with marginalized ethnic minorities who often face stigma when seeking out treatment for addiction.

Continuing to work in the criminal justice system is Pierson’s ambition after she earns her degree as a clinical mental health counseling/licensed clinical addiction specialist. She already works with probationers and parolees in a program to reduce recidivism.

“The best reward is after a client has completed my program and comes back to visit and has great news, such as no new charges or they love their new job,” Pierson said.

She considers all her clients to be successful if they manage to get up every day and take a few steps toward their goals, despite significant financial, transportation and mental barriers.

“Success can be measured by the smallest grain of sand when working with this population,” she added.

Joe, a graduate of Gardner Webb University, is pursuing his master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. After graduation, he plans to continue working with adults with substance use disorders who cannot afford treatment.

NBCC and its affiliates help facilitate professional standards in counseling with more than 65,000 members throughout the United States and in other countries.

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2019
by Director of Marketing and Communications, Quiana M Shepard
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