Southeastern Louisiana University counseling student Christianne Ricard, of Baton Rouge, was selected by the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, for the group’s Minority Fellowship Program-Youth.

As a fellow, Ricard will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations with a specific focus on transition age youth, ages 16 to 25, a news release said.

“As a graduate student in the counseling program, Christianne has aggressively pursued the many opportunities available to her,” professor of counseling Mary Ballard said. “Her initiatives have gained her a tremendous amount of recognition at the state and national levels, and the faculty applauds her energy and enthusiasm for the counseling profession.”

The NBCC MFP will distribute $5,000 to Ricard and the 39 other master’s-level counseling students selected to receive the fellowship award. Ricard is both a student and graduate of Southeastern, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling and clinical counseling.

Ricard plans to serve the minority population upon graduation. The fellowship will help her to obtain supervision for working with the minority population and will also allow her to be a part of ongoing training in order to best serve minority populations.

The program is made possible by a grant awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in September. The goal of the program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the available number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals, the release said.