Tiffany Hairston is one of 24 counselors in the country to receive a National Board of Certified Counselors Foundation Minority Fellowship.
More than 100 applicants applied for the inaugural year of the fellowship program, which provides advanced training, networking and mentorship for one year.
“It’s an honor because we are the original class; we’re the first ones to do it,” said Hairston, who began the program in May with an orientation in Greensboro, N.C., at the foundation’s headquarters. “We are able to shape the fellowship so they’ll know what to do from here on out.”
Hairston, who is pursuing her doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision at UT, also received $20,000 to support her education and the work she does for underserviced minority populations, which includes alcohol and drug treatment and mental health counseling.
She has been a substance abuse counselor for more than 10 years. She has worked at nonprofit counseling centers in order to better serve the minority populations and continues to work in the treatment field at Unison Behavioral Health Group.
The National Board of Certified Counselors Foundation Minority Fellowship Program is made possible with a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. According to the foundation’s website, the goal of the program is to “strengthen the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increase the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations.”
Hairston, who received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in community counseling from UT, expects to graduate with her PhD in May.
“It’s an honor because my work has not gone unnoticed and to get recognized for it is an accomplishment,” Hairston said.