Cal State Fullerton graduate student Whitney Johnson is one of 40 students across the United States to receive a 2016-17 master’s-level fellowship from the Council on Social Work Education’s Minority Fellowship Program.
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the program’s goal is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent master’s-level behavioral health professionals serving children and adolescents.
Three CSUF students have achieved this national honor since its inception in 2014 — each garnering a $6,500 monetary stipend, specialized training in mental health issues, mentorship and other professional development opportunities.
“I hope to gain a better understanding of the mental health needs of at-risk children and youths, along with the training and resources needed to do what is in the best interest of my future clients,” said Johnson, who graduated as a Titan in 2014 with a bachelor of science degree in human services. “I want to maximize this opportunity by establishing relationships with mental health professionals who are experienced and well-versed in this field.”
With plans to continue on to a doctoral program, Johnson says her experiences at CSUF have played a significant role in helping her realize her career path.
“It was during the course of my undergraduate career at CSUF that I decided to pursue a career in social work,” she said. “As a graduate student, I see that my experiences at CSUF have granted me the opportunity to grow professionally and build relationships with students, staff and faculty who have made a lasting impact on my life.”