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The Association for Addiction Professionals

NMFP-AC Cohorts

After a selective application and evaluation process, the following extraordinary individuals have been selected as receipients of this fellowship. Inviduals in Cohort 1 received funding during the 2015-2016 academic year, and inviduals in Cohort 2 will receive funding during the 2016-2017 academic year.
 

Cohort 1

Stephen Akinnola Jaime Anderson
Stacey Borden Joshua Crick
Orlesha Fairgood Johan Fernandez
Theresa McKay Kristal Moore
Tanya Richem Diana Sanchez
Eronilde Shores Anadoris Torres
Zuania Troche
 

Stephen Akinnola

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I was born and grew up in Ondo State, one of the most prominent states in Nigeria. I attended both elementary and high school in the same state and was one of the brightest student in my school and also a good soccer player. I was very shy as a young man and very stubborn. Being born into a large family has it advantage and its disadvantages; I learned very early the importance of parental approval, and I did very well at school and was very helpful at home and my parents love me very much for that. My parent name was Mr. Elijah and Mrs. Comfort Akinnola both of whom were successful in their respectful business. . I came to the United States few years after graduating from high school with the hope of furthering my education and to return back to Nigeria where most of my families still resides.

Jaime Anderson

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My name is Jaime Anderson of both Native American and Caucasian decent. I have three sons, ages are 15, 14, and 9. I have always been athletic and enjoy exercise and enjoy learning about nutrition and eating healthy. I am a recovering addict whose primary dependency was methamphetamine. I have been in recovery for almost 10 years. I have been working as a substance abuse counselor for 7 years and graduated with my Bachelors in Behavioral Science in May 2013. I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Addiction Studies from the University of South Dakota. Since becoming a substance abuse counselor, I have only been employed on Indian reservations and have only worked with the Native American population. I am currently employed with Indian Health Services on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation.

Stacey Borden

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A Boston, Massachusetts native, Stacey earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Cambridge College and currently enrolled in The Master’s Degree Program also of Cambridge College. She has close relations to her 11 siblings most in the Boston area. When not at work or attending school, Stacey enjoys spending time with her fami, loves to travel, swim, Journal Writing and is highly interested in Drama Therapy with an empathetic value in the individual suffering from trauma and addictions. Stacey also is committed to Motivational Speaking as she has had prior engagements with Simmons College, Cambridge College and Saint Anselm College of New Hampshire, speaking in front of freshman students. Stacey is currently a Board member with OWLL (On With Living and Learning) Productions, a non-profit organization. OWLL is a transformational ""verbatim theatre” organization. Stacey is also a member of NAADAC (The Association for Addiction Professionals). Engaged as an associate/student, working towards qualification for licensure or certification in the addictions profession.

Joshua Crick

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I am 32 years old, married for over two years and have a 16 month old daughter. I was born in Massachusetts and moved to Iowa shortly thereafter. My father worked for ACT in Iowa, but got a job in Philadelphia at the National Board of Medical Examiners so we moved to New Jersey in 1989. I am the youngest of three, and the only boy. I always have done well in school but around middle school mental health issues and addiction began to create dramatic effects in my life through me and many of my friends. I finally got my act together in 2007 and completed my associate’s degree in addictions counseling in 2010. I finished Cum Laude at Rutgers Camden in 2013 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in sociology. I have one year left in the MSW program at Rutgers New Brunswick and currently have a 4.0. I work in a correctional facility as a substance abuse counselor and have been there for over four and a half years.

Orlesha Fairgood

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My name is Orlesha Diane Fairgood; I am a thirty four-year-old single mother of one son. On July 10, 2006, I accepted a position with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services as a Unit Caseworker, working with adult male offenders. I later accepted a position in the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program as a Chemical Dependency Treatment Specialist (CDTS) on May 12, 2008. I attended Training for Addiction Professionals (TAP) at The Lincoln Medical Education Partnership and received my Provisional License for Alcohol and Drug Counseling (PLADC) on March 12, 2009. I became a fully Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) in March 2012. I began my academic career in Clinical Social Work Fall 2012 and have an anticipated graduation date of May 2016.

Johan Fernandez

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In 2008, I graduated from Perth Amboy High School and was admitted into the EOF program at Rutgers University - New Brunswick. In 2013, I graduated from Rutgers University - New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice with a minor in sociology. I earned my first job out of college working with a company called Cognostane, which was contracted by the Department of Medicaid and Medicare to oversee the rollout of the Affordable Heathcare Act. During the fall of 2015 I was admitted into the Rutgers School of Social Work and began my quest to achieving masters in social work. My desire to help individuals who have suffered as a result of the lack of culturally competent services lead me to want to become an agent of change with the goal of assisting vulnerable minority populations during their time of need.

Theresa McKay

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Personal statement coming soon.

Kristal Moore

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Born and raised in Detroit, I moved with my young sons to Washtenaw County in August 2011 after a long battle with addition. In 2012 I returned to school to pursue my dream of working with disadvantaged populations. While working toward a BSW I earned The EMU University Fellowship, Eastern Michigan Black Alumni Association Against all Odds Scholarship, Emerald Scholarship, The Barr, Maxine, Donald and The EMU Women’s Associations Scholarship. In 2014 I completed the BSW program and began my work with Dawn Farm as an Outpatient Therapist and a Detox counselor. Currently I am a candidate for an MSW through EMU school of Social Work recipient of the 2015 HRSA workforce development and the NADAAC Minority Fellowships. I am interested in working with adolescent and young adults with co occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

Tanya Richem

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I completed my undergraduate degree in education in 1998, taught diverse and disadvantaged youth, and worked as a paralegal both in and near my hometown. In 2013 I returned to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology with a certification in clinical art therapy and specialization in substance use disorders. Alcohol and prescription drug abuse are primary causes of substance use disorders in my community. As an NMFP-AC fellow I’ve developed a psychoeducational art therapy project aimed to start public dialogue about reentry after incarceration. Many people undergo treatment in the criminal justice system but they recover in their communities. There often isn’t a lot of support or services available in that transition. My goal is to bridge service gaps and promote successful reentry and recovery for safer, stronger communities.

Diana Sanchez

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Diana Sanchez is pursuing her MSW while simultaneously a part of the Addiction Counselor Training program at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Diana works in addictions providing group and individual counseling to both English and Spanish speaking clients. She is currently an intern at a co-occurring treatment program. Her main area of focus is on substance abuse and mental health disorders among minorities and the need for cultural competency in clinical settings. Diana has worked with underserved communities in Argentina, Colombia and Romania. Her passion for helping others paired with her determination, dedication and drive for success fuels her desires for professional growth within the social work field. As a future dual license clinician Diana plans to encourage and support adequate training in treating co-occurring clients and educating clinicians in understanding how the therapeutic relationship is affected by cultural differences.

Eronilde Shores

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NMFP-AC Fellow Nil Shores grew up in a small village in the state of Maranhao in northern Brazil. The village, Barracao de Madeira, is so small, says Nil, that it doesn’t even appear on the map. One of seven children, Nil was the first in her family to complete high school, and she credits her father for encouraging her to continue her education. A passion for learning English brought her to the United States in the 1990’s. While working and attending college in Delaware, Nil met and later married an American soldier who had been deployed in Iraq. After a second tour of duty, Nil’s husband returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. Opiates prescribed for his chronic pain led to a heroin addiction and ultimately, death by overdose. Her husband’s struggles motivated Nil to pursue a graduate degree in mental health counseling with an emphasis on trauma and addiction. She learned about the NMFP-AC fellowship through her advisor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. While completing her studies, Nil has also been working full time as a counselor in child protective services at Savio House, a local social services agency. Many of her clients speak only Spanish, or have limited English language skills. One requirement of the NMFP-AC fellowship is to complete six educational webinars available through the NAADAC Institute Webinar Series. She cites the webinar “Cultural Humility and Counseling Hispanic and Latino Populations” as being particular valuable to her work. “All of the webinars have increased my knowledge about cross-cultural issues and cultural sensitivity,” says Nil. Nil encourages any student in a master’s program in addiction studies to consider applying for the NMFP-AC fellowship. “It is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of how to best serve minorities and underserved populations

Anadoris Torres

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My name is Anadoris Estrada Torres. My hometown is Ponce, but I’m temporarily living in Bayamon for my graduate studies. My Bachelor’s degree was in Forensic Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico at Ponce. During the past semester I was a Representative of Substance Abuse Program in the Student Council of the Universidad Central de Caribe. I’m a young woman with great ambitions for my future. More than a profession, I see my career as a vocation and a call to service. I have always been given to others and with an immense will to give my all to whom needs a word of strength or service in relation to my knowledge and skills provision. I’m a woman that has been developed in the cultural, artistic area and think I have a few extra tools to involve young people in transitional age in activities which increase their development and decrease the likelihood of falling into substance use as a means of prevention.

Zuania Troche

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I have a Bachelor Degree in Sociology, a certificate of Administrative Assistant and a Minor in Education of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. I’m in my second year of my Master’s Degree of Substance Abuse Counseling at Caribbean Central University in Bayamón Puerto Rico. In my free time I play the classical guitar, dance salsa and belly dancing. I love dogs and I have two. I always try to be an organized person and do activities to increase my knowledge. I also in my free time take workshops in other areas like management and education. I like to be in constant learning because counseling is a profession that requires that the facilitator be in constantly training.
 

Cohort 2

Antoine Charles Jessica Eckels
Danielle Enninful Dominic Foster
Sarah King Rebecca Kirkland
Deirdre Kuvaas Laura Lopez-Aybar
Margaret Mitchell Rahel Mitiku
Manuel Quiles Anthony Whitfield
 

Antoine Charles

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Personal statement coming soon.

Jessica Eckels

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Earned her undergraduate degree in Human Services from Fort Hays State University. She is currently a graduate student completing her MA in Addiction Counseling with Washburn University. Jessica’s passion for the addiction field is deeply-seated. With long lines of addiction on both sides of her family, she has witnessed the effects of addiction on the individual and the family, and also how treatment and recovery can help individuals and families rebuild. A Kansas native, Jessica will utilize the skills she learns during her fellowship to provide culturally competent care to underserved populations in the communities she serves. Jessica currently resides in Junction City, Kansas with her husband and son.

Danielle Enninful

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I live in Dilworth, Minnesota. I am currently enrolled in the Master’s of Counseling program, addiction track at the University of Mary. I currently work for Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch with at risk youth aged 10-18. I love what I do every single day. I have worked in this field for about 5 years. I love the program that I am apart of and I am entering my second and last year. I am looking forward to starting my internship hours this fall and being involved in this fellowship.

Dominic Foster

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Personal statement coming soon.

Sarah King

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Sarah King is a second year Master's student at William and Mary in the Clinical Mental Health & Addictions Counseling program. She earned her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Sarah is an intern at New Leaf Clinic; providing alcohol education and brief interventions. In her second semester as a Master’s student she completed her practicum experience at Cumberland Hospital; working with children and adolescents. She looks forward to beginning her internship at Bacon Street Youth and Family Services in the fall. Sarah is passionate about working with those struggling with and affected by substance use disorders; having particular interests in working with traditional youth and underserved populations. Sarah plans to pursue a Doctoral degree with research interests in the epigenetics of addiction and trauma in marginalized populations, with particular interest in the American Indian population.

Rebecca Kirkland

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Graduate student from Kings Mountain, North Carolina, who is completing the final year of an accredited master’s program in addiction/substance abuse counseling online at USD. She is a certified substance abuse counselor (CSAC), a human services- board certified practitioner (HS-BCP), certified peer support specialist (CPSS) as well as a national certified addiction counselor II (NCAC II) currently working with the inmate population in her state. Rebecca plans to continue working in her current position after she earns her LCAS and CCS licensure in her state. In addition to her passion is working with those struggling with addictions, Rebecca is also a devoted wife and mother of 2 young children. Rebecca is involved with her local church, where she serves as pianist as well as youth board member. In addition to being in recovery herself, Rebecca strives to make an impact in her community, and to aid those struggling from their addictions.

Deirdre Kuvaas

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Deirdre Kuvaas graduated from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. For the past 4 years, she has been working as a psychiatric technician in a psychiatric facility in Fargo, North Dakota with acute mental health and substance abuse clients. She particularly developed a passion for working with substance abuse adults in a high intensity residential setting. In Fargo, large amounts of Native American clients are admitted to treatment where Deirdre developed an interest in working this particular cultural group. Deirdre is currently entering her second year of her Master’s program in addiction counseling at the University of Mary with aspirations of becoming a licensed addiction counselor and licensed professional counselor and continue to become culturally competent to work with Native American clients.

Laura Lopez-Aybar

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Laura B. López-Aybar was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to a family of educators. She earned her B.F.A in Interdisciplinary Studies- Psychology and Drama at the University of Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras Campus, researching trauma, intimate partner violence, relationship patterns and substance use in transition age populations. She worked for one year as an assistant researcher at the Center for Job Relations, researching mobbing in government workplace settings. She also worked a year and a half in the Institute for Psychological Research in numerous research projects as an assistant. During her undergraduate studies she offered several workshops and seminars about healthy lifestyle, drama as a tool for high risk populations and yoga. Currently, she is working towards obtaining a M.H.S. in Substance Abuse Counseling and training to be a Trauma Specialist. She plans to continue her graduate studies in Clinical Psychology.

Margaret Mitchell

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Born and raised in California, just outside of Los Angeles. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brigham Young University in 2001. Upon graduation I taught English as a Second Language to elementary age students in Taiwan, and also traveled extensively in South East Asia. Upon returning home, as I was applying for graduate school, I met my husband, Jeff, and we married in 2003. I put graduate school on hold and focused on rearing and raising our three children. In 2015 I applied and was accepted to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, with a focus in Addictions. I am currently an intern at A Willow Bends, a small practice in a rural mountain town, working with court mandated clients with addictions.

Rahel Mitiku

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An Ethiopian American who has lived in the United States for over 34 years. I hold a BA in Economics/Business Administration, and I am currently working on a Masters in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. I am also a certified substance abuse counselor (CSAC) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. My work experience over the past 5 years includes my current work in housing case-management at Volunteers of America/Chesapeake shelter here in Arlington County, case management at A-SPAN, and residential counseling at Phoenix House’s adolescent treatment facility, also in Arlington, Virginia. I have volunteered in area jails and institutions over the past 9 years. I am determined to make a difference helping under-served individuals who are experiencing addiction and other challenges overcome these obstacles to live their optimal lives. I live by the belief that, “what has happened to you is not nearly as important as what has happened in you.

Manuel Quiles

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I’m 35 years old and I’m Puertorican. I’m product of the public school and I was raised in a housing project. The high rate of crime and drug addiction forces my parents to move to “Caimito” a neighborhood in San Juan. Where I complete my middle and high school. I have a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education of the University of Puerto Rico. Since 2002, I’m a Community Intercessor of Centros Sor Isolina Ferre. Through sports I have impacted children and young people with high-risk behaviors. Searching for resources for participants who fall into the use of substances, I discover my passion for this field and start a Masters in Counseling Substance Abuse at the Central University of the Caribbean. I recently completed my first internship, experience that confirmed that this is my vocation. I am very grateful to NAADAC for this scholarship and support.

Anthony Whitfield

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Employed as an Intensive Case Manager with Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center, working with individuals that have co-occurring disorders. I’m extremely passionate about helping and encouraging others in their recovery. My message consists of HOPE; if others had given up on me I may be out there still trying to prove that I could drink. It’s hard to believe that I have this tremendous opportunity to share this little glimpse of my life with you. The reason why, you ask? Five years ago, I was actively struggling with my addiction of alcoholism. It wasn’t pretty, it was miserable; in fact, it was barely a life at all. After countless recovery attempts, I finally had the realization that recovery is the only solution for me to live a desirable life. I welcome this opportunity, working with my mentor, and becoming a part of the NMFP-AC.