The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Minority Fellowship is an incredibly prestigious fellowship that can be awarded to an MFT student in the discipline of Marriage and Family Therapy. The minority fellowship program is “dedicated to expanding the delivery of culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services to understand minority populations, and increasing the number of culturally competent Marriage and Family therapists” according to the main website.
In order to qualify for this fellowship students enter a highly competitive application process, and no Chapman MFT student up until recently has ever received this award. Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program Dr. Naveen Jonathan announced to Crean faculty and staff that students Kandace Brown (Class of 2017) and Nicole Reilly (Class of 2019) have both been awarded the AAMFT Minority Fellowship. “The AAMFT Minority Fellowship is the premier national fellowship” stated Dr. Jonathan. “Students are considered for their academic achievements, goals and contributions to the field, service to the marginalized communities as well as potential to be involved in advocacy efforts on the national level” Dr. Jonathan added, further emphasizing the competitiveness of this fellowship highlighting what a true accomplishment Nicole and Kandace have achieved.
Kandace Brown is a 3rd year MFT student here at Chapman University and began the program in fall of 2014. When asked to describe what the AAMFT Minority Fellowship is and what it means to her she said that it is an incredible honor and privilege and that “as a double minority myself, I have developed a great passion for social justice and equality. I am extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to receive national exposure to resources and specialized training that further empowers me and my desire to be an advocate/service provider for those in the community that have been marginalized or oppressed.”
Nicole Reilly is a 1st year MFT student who started the program this last spring 2016 and is eager to graduate in 2019. Nicole commented that the fellowship to her is “an opportunity to help the underserved within our community gain better access to resources in terms of mental health and substance abuse treatment.” Nicole’s background is not originally in MFT, so when asked why she chose her profession she stated “I wanted to offer my clinic population more comprehensive, holistic care integrating Mental Health Services with traditional Western Medicine.”
The future of the MFT profession for these two students are exceedingly bright thanks to their hard work, which in turn lead to the phenomenal opportunity this prestigious award is presenting them with. Congratulations once again to Kandace Brown and Nicole Reilly!