Albuquerque-native Aaron J. Smith was recently awarded the 2011 NBCC Foundation Military Scholarship. The military scholarship is awarded to service members and veterans who are pursuing a counseling education and who are committed to serving fellow military personnel upon graduation.

Smith will receive $3,000 to support his counseling education and to facilitate his service to military populations. Smith is both a student and graduate of the University of New Mexico where he is pursuing a master's in clinical mental health counseling. A Marine Corps reservist, Smith experienced several deployments and struggled with the challenges of military service. He has a particular interest in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a problem he witnessed in many of his fellow service members. As a counselor, he hopes to provide relief for the military population dealing with the rigors of deployment and military life.

In addition to Smith's scholarship, four additional $3,000 military scholarships have been awarded. The NBCC Foundation has also awarded five $3,000 rural scholarships to increase the number of counselors available in rural areas.

The military scholarship was created in 2009 to increase the number of counselors available to serve military personnel and families suffering from a shortage of available mental health professionals. Students from across the country applied for the five military scholarships, and the NBCC Foundation Board of Trustees was impressed with the high caliber of the applicants.

The mission of the NBCC Foundation is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. The NBCC Foundation plans to continue offering scholarships to increase the number of counselors in the areas where they are needed most.

For more information or to make a gift in support of the Foundation's mission, visit NBCC Foundation.