Department Scholarship Awards 2022-2023

Cloey Bibbs
Anne L. Chandler Scholarship

Once I graduate from this program and obtain my LPC license, I plan on starting a practice. Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me as an independent full-time student, because it not only helps with financial stress, but it shows that VCU cares and that they support their students. I have had experience where I had to stop going to counseling due to how much it costs, as well as experience with having affordable counseling, but with poor quality. I view mental health counseling as a necessity, not a luxury for only the middle-class population. Many people from underrepresented communities face severe mental health challenges every day and are forced to live with it alone due to the inaccessibility of mental health services. My goal is to extend these opportunities to those from low-income and underrepresented communities, and to ensure that everyone is receiving high quality services. It is great to see that colleges, like VCU, are dedicated to increasing diversity in their programs. As a result, this will help this practice consist of counselors with various backgrounds to best suit the rates of diversity that will be brought here in the future. 

Brenna Denicola
The Marcia J. Lawton Quality of Life Scholarship and the Blair Craig Memorial Scholarship

Once I obtain my master's from VCU, I plan to become a licensed therapist and pursue additional training in Somatic Experiencing. I am passionate about working with individuals experiencing trauma and anxiety disorders. I am supporting myself through the program, and I already have substantial student loan debt from my undergraduate studies. Receiving these tuition assistance awards has made a big impact on my life because it alleviates some of my financial burden moving forward. To be recognized by the department for my efforts and commitment to the counseling profession also affirms for me that I am on the right path.

Marjan Habib
Commonwealth of Virginia Graduate Tuition Assistance Award

I am grateful to be a recipient of this award, as it has significantly eased the financial stress of pursuing a Master’s and allowed me more time focusing on my academic and professional goals. My hope is to make meaningful contributions to the mental health field by providing culturally-sensitive, compassionate, and accessible counseling. As a child of refugees myself, I hope to work with individuals who are immigrants and refugees to ease the acculturation process and ensure healthy adjustment in their new home country. This award allows me to be a step closer in achieving my dream. 

Sonia Meyer
Commonwealth of Virginia Graduate Tuition Assistance Award 

I am very grateful to have received this award as this allows me to learn even more during my time in this program. I have been fortunate enough to be able to pursue research and volunteer opportunities as well as my classes and internship. This award has given me the space to learn more about careers in counseling and mental health that focus on international needs and disaster aid. I am excited to be able to pursue these interests more after graduation and hopefully be able to bring some of my experience back to this program in the future.

Department Scholarship Awards 2021-2022

Naomi Othman
Marjorie Howard Scholarship for Distance Education and the Richard E. Hardy Scholarship

I am hoping to work in emergency services once I graduate from the program and receive my LPC. I have a passion for crisis counseling and helping bring up those who are at their lowest. Both of these awards have eased my financial burden as I am an independent full-time student. I no longer have to worry about textbook costs or tuition for summer classes- which I am endlessly thankful for.

Karen Melcho
Marcia J. Lawton Quality of Life Scholarship and the Blair Craig Memorial Scholarship

As I matriculate through the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program, my goal is to work with individuals who identify with substance use disorders. Receiving tuition assistance awards from the department not only let me know that VCU is supporting my efforts, but they also believe in me. These awards are helping me continue my volunteer work in the recovery community, as they are alleviating some of my financial stressors. The more I am able to freely give back, the more I gain in terms of experience, strength, and hope.

Fran Singson
Commonwealth of Virginia Graduate Tuition Assistance Award

When it comes to my career goals, first and foremost, my mission is to make mental health care accessible to all individuals—regardless of age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. Specifically, my goal is to provide accessible and quality care to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community in my native Virginia Beach, including my own Filipino-American community. I hope to establish an environment that not only provides culturally competent and accessible care to this target population, but also works to educate and inform individuals of all generations on the importance of a proactive approach to wellness.

This award makes a huge difference in my life, as it allows me to pursue my education while alleviating some of the financial burden from my family. I am grateful, as this award has allowed me to dedicate more time to take part in research opportunities; I hope that this will put me on the path of confronting intergenerational trauma and normalizing mental health literature that focuses on the Filipino-American community.

Taylor Davis
Commonwealth of Virginia Graduate Tuition Assistance Award

Once I obtain my master’s from VCU, I hope to move on to a clinical psychology PhD program to become a children's psychologist. This award has brought me one step closer to achieving my goals and solidified my reasons for pursuing this path. I moved to Virginia on my own and have been supporting myself through school so to be recognized for all my efforts has made me so grateful.

Abbey Maslyn
Anne L. Chandler Scholarship

A passion of mine is working to improve access to mental health services and holistic care for vulnerable populations. I work with adolescents in foster care and am able to develop programs and implement holistic treatment methods that include movement therapy, mindfulness, meditation, and art therapy. After I graduation I would like to continue to serve this population in a new capacity as a licensed therapist. This scholarship allows me to continue working with non-profit organizations that strive to increase access to care.