University of New Mexico student Patrick J. Gallegos was awarded one of six 2013 NBCC Foundation Military Scholarships, an award given to service members and veterans pursuing a counseling education who commit to serving military personnel, veterans and families upon graduation. Gallegos will receive $5,000 to support his counseling education and facilitate his service to military populations.
Gallegos is the second UNM student to win the award in as many years. Last year, Counselor Education student Aaron Smith won the same scholarship.
"The students in the Counselor Education Program are routinely recognized nationally, which demonstrates not only the quality of our students but the strength of the program," said Jay Parkes, chair, Department of Individual, Family and Community Education.
Gallegos earned a bachelor's from the UNM College of Education, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. Gallegos served in the Army for more than 10 years and has experienced firsthand the great need for increased and enhanced mental health care as a mental health specialist. Upon graduation, he intends to work as a counselor with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The mission of the NBCC Foundation is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. The military scholarship was created in 2009 to increase access to counselors for military personnel, veterans 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 awarded an additional scholarship due to the high caliber of this year's applicants.
The NBCC Foundation has also awarded six $5,000 rural scholarships to increase the number of counselors serving rural areas.
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 www.nbccf.org.