Fairfield Graduate Student Krystle Clarke Selected for Prestigious NBCC Fellowship

Fairfield Graduate Student Krystle Clarke Selected for Prestigious NBCC Fellowship

Photo of student fellowship awardee, Krystle Clarke

NBCC Fellow, Krystle Clarke

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Fellowship will provide funding to support Clarke’s education and her desire to serve at-risk, minority students.

Krystle has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving minority and low-income students in her community by providing social justice-focused counseling services within a K–12 public school setting.

— Stephaney Morrison, PhD, assistant professor of counselor education

Last spring, Krystle Clarke – a student in Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions – was one of 20 individuals selected from among 700 applicants to receive a National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Fellowship.  This competitive award is given by the nonprofit NBCC Foundation to support the graduate studies and professional development of minority counseling students. 

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. The purpose of the NBCC Fellowship is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral healthcare outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations, by increasing the number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals.

As an NBCC Fellow, Clarke will receive funding and training to support her studies and her desire to serve minority populations with a specific focus on neglected children who have been abandoned. According to Clarke’s advisor, Tracey Robert, PhD, professor of counselor education,“Krystle changed her major to school counseling because she felt that she could have a bigger impact on the development and growth of adolescents at risk.”

“I decided to pursue counseling because I have seen how mental health issues impact so many people. It is a silent disease and so many people suffer mentally and don’t say anything,” said Clarke. “I’m good at talking to people, listening, and trying to work through issues. I have such a passion for it, so I did research on how I could put my passions to work.”

Clarke earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut with a major in general studies and a minor in psychology. She hopes to complete her master’s degree at Fairfield University next May. When choosing a school for her graduate degree, Krystle said she chose Fairfield because of its reputation. She believes the commute from Waterbury, Conn., is more than worth it.

Among her NBCC Fellowship recommendations, several professors noted Clarke’s commitment to making change and following her passion. Stephaney Morrison, PhD, assistant professor of counselor education, wrote “Krystle has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving minority and low-income students in her community by providing social justice-focused counseling services within a K–12 public school setting.”

Starting in the fall, Clarke will intern at an elementary school in Waterbury. There, she will work under the supervision of a school counselor to support students throughout the day. After completing her graduate degree, Clarke hopes to work as a middle school counselor. “I feel like this is a big stage for children turning into teenagers,” she said. “They are right between being a child and almost being an adult. There are so many factors to consider and changes happening during this stage of life.”

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Last modified: 07-18-19 11:42 PM

20190718

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