Susan Branco Alvarado, a doctoral student in counselor education and supervision at Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region, has been selected for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program.

As a fellow, Alvarado will receive $20,000 to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations. She is one of 22 doctoral-level counseling students selected to receive the fellowship award.

The National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program is made possible by a 2012 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation is contracted by the National Board for Certified Counselors to administer the program, as well as training and collaboration activities, such as webinars, that are open to all National Certified Counselors.

The goal of the Minority Fellowship Program is to strengthen the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increases the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations.

Alvarado intends to use her fellowship award to continue her dissertation research on school counselor competence in serving transracially adopted children, advocate for the mental health needs of transracially adopted youth and adults, and pursue opportunities to teach at academic institutions.

Alvarado earned an undergraduate degree in human services and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from The George Washington University. She also completed a post master’s certificate in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center.

She is a licensed professional counselor in the commonwealth of Virginia and is an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She maintains an independent practice serving adoptive families, individuals, and parents; supervises school and clinical mental health master’s students; and acts as a consultant to local and national adoption agencies. 

Alvarado resides in Arlington, Virginia.

The National Board for Certified Counselors is the nation’s premier professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. Currently, there are more than 52,000 National Certified Counselors in the United States and more than 50 countries.



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