Former HRSA Scholars

Former HRSA Scholars

John Arnold: John conducted his internship at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare in Leesburg, VA. He worked under a therapist in the residential treatment center. Every day was a busy day of talking with adolescents, maintaining notes, facilitating family and group therapies, and adjusting treatment plans. John happily shared that the staff at NSBH were great communicators and emphasized teamwork.

Former HRSA Scholars

Mariah Allen: Mariah worked with the Child Advocacy Center in Arlington County. She worked primarily with children who have been victims of sexual assault, abuse, or trafficking. At the CAC, she supported their efforts to provide mental health support to children during investigations and onward. Services included Psychoeducation, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Victim and Family Support in court, and Victim Advocacy.

Former HRSA ScholarsRachel Costlow: Rachel received a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She completed her internship with Atlantic Counseling Group of Leesburg, VA. Rachel provided individual counseling to male and female domestic violence offenders, as well as co-facilitated psycho-educational groups for the offenders. Rachel utilized cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic approaches to counseling to support these individuals through challenging times in their lives.

Former HRSA Scholars

Kirsten Pettaway: Kirsten is an Arlington native with a strong sense of community. Therefore, when she got the opportunity to intern at an Arlington-based treatment center, Demeter House, she jumped at the chance to give back to the community that has given so much to her. Demeter House is a gender-based residential substance use treatment program intended to empower women, who often come from low-income and underserved communities, and give them the ability to re-enter their communities and break the cycle of addiction. At Demeter House, patients have access to 24-hour clinical and medical services, and daily clinical group and individual sessions. Women, who successfully leave the Demeter House, are given the knowledge necessary to return to their families and be more responsible citizens. 

Former HRSA ScholarsKelly Kramer: Kelly received a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She completed her internship with Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Kelly has a significant interest in Cognitive behavioral therapy and existential approaches to counseling, trauma-sensitive yoga, and helping survivors of violence find meaning and happiness in their lives.

Former HRSA ScholarsKelley Dausman: Kelley interned at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare — Acute Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia. She served children and adolescents in an inpatient setting through group, individual, and family therapy. The multidisciplinary nature of North Spring brings together psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, and other helping professionals to provide timely and high-quality mental health care to patients from various backgrounds. Kelley enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about trauma-informed care in this team-oriented environment.

Former HRSA ScholarsItzel Munoz: Itzel is Mexican and was raised in Northern Virginia. She speaks both English and Spanish. Throughout her life, she realized that there is a gap and a need for more bilingual counselors in the mental health field, and her goal is to continue to work with marginalized groups where she can speak Spanish. Itzel interned at Arlington Free Clinic (AFC), where she provided counseling services in English and Spanish to low-income and uninsurable Arlington County adults. The generosity of donors and volunteers is why AFC can exist and thrive as a free clinic. The clients at AFC have an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. This means that the clients are unable to qualify for Medicaid insurance because of the coverage gap.

Former HRSA Scholars

Kyle Ginzl: Kyle interned at Sandstone Care at their North Bethesda/Rockville location. Sandstone Care provides drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment to both the young adult and adolescent populations. Sandstone has a host of age-appropriate programs that include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Outpatient Treatment, as well as detox, residential, and sober living services. Sandstone offers individualized treatment for its clients, as well as family treatment and family support. Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife, his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and his one-year-old son. In his free time, his hobbies include playing the guitar, photography, cycling, and running.

Former HRSA ScholarsYasmin Lara: Yasmin was born and raised in Northern Virginian and is a daughter of Bolivian immigrants. She is a first-generation college graduate and the first to receive a Master’s. Yasmin has witnessed the disparities and inequities of those who do not have the proper resources to help them succeed. She believes in an individual’s success and integration back into the community. She has over 5 years of work experience working in the mental health field at Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute. There Yasmin facilitated/implemented and created psychosocial educational groups and was the Chairperson of the incentive program. Yasmin also interned at National Capital Treatment & Recovery as a Clinical Intern. She predominantly worked in the Men’s Residential Program called the Phoenix Program. The program offers a convenient, comfortable, gender-specific setting. This nationally accredited program helps clients break the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and equips them with the tools and coping skills they need to re-enter the community and maintain their recovery. Yasmin finds it rewarding in supporting individuals in their times of need and helping them grow in their recovery; when an individual makes strides and thrives in their recovery and meets their treatment goals. In the future, she plans to work as Gestalt Equine Psychotherapist with trauma, substance use, and development disability populations. Animals especially horses are powerful in deepening the relationship with oneself, recovery, and beyond! 

Former HRSA Scholars Hye Joon Pak: Hye Joon interned at Sandstone Care working with adolescents and young adults who were facing various challenges with substance abuse, addiction, and mental health. Through individual and group counseling, she helped them with motivation to change and provided psychoeducational and group support so they could pursue a life of sobriety. For a lasting change, Hye Joon believes not only in treating substance use behavior but also in exploring deeper issues that underlie substance use.

Former HRSA Scholars Laura Cook: Laura is interned as a counseling intern at Act Now for Mental Health — a non-profit mental health center based in Washington, DC. She served young adults ages 17-32 with mental health concerns via telehealth in Virginia. They also, run mental well-being classes once a semester. The ANMH team aims to aid underserved BIPOC and LGBTQ+ young adults at no cost to the client. The ANMH team is mostly LCSWs and LPC interns and is a new and growing organization. Laura loved filling the gap between what is learned in MSW and CMHC programs to serve clients best! This organization is very dear to her heart, and she was so excited to get to help those who may not have the funds to access therapy services otherwise.

Former HRSA ScholarsArlene Festekjian: Arlene interned at Youth for Tomorrow, which is both a resident and in-school service (Therapeutic Day Treatment) for the underserved. She served children and adolescents in Therapeutic Day Treatment which is in the school setting. In the school setting both the child/adolescent is supported as well as their family by providing weekly updates on how the child is doing and what can also be done at home to serve them best. The program offers therapeutic support for youth who struggle with symptoms of ADHD, depression, ODD, and mood instability, as well as a wide range of others. In the school setting, she worked with the students through group and individual therapy. Arlene enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about a wide range of informed care in a team-oriented environment.

Former HRSA ScholarsKelly Ha: Kelly was an intern and CSOTP Resident at Counseling and Forensic Services, Inc. (CFS), an outpatient practice with multiple locations across the state of Virginia. She provided services for adolescents and adults and court-mandated individuals through individual and group therapy. CFS has provided her with the opportunity to learn how counselors work with individuals involved with the justice system and to identify special needs and concerns to better assist this marginalized and underserved population.

Former HRSA ScholarsSamantha Bauer: Samantha interned at the Mental Health Association of Frederick Maryland (MHA). MHA served children and adults in an outpatient setting through individual, couples, and family therapy. MHA operates under trauma-informed care, and she enjoyed the opportunity to learn through this lens in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Former HRSA ScholarsZoe Walden: Zoe interned at the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. She served adults, 18 years and older, in an outpatient setting through group therapy, individual therapy, and psychoeducation. Zoe is looking forward to learning more about substance-abuse treatment with other professionals to help their patients navigate and recover from past trauma and obtain long-term sobriety.

Former HRSA ScholarsLauren Chu: Lauren interned at National Capital Treatment and Recovery in Arlington, Virginia. National Capital serves adults facing challenges with substance use and provides a variety of services, including residential programs, outpatient counseling, and medication-assisted treatment. Lauren is looking forward to supporting individuals as they navigate their recovery. She hopes to learn more about how to help clients build coping skills and make lasting changes to maintain sobriety.

Former HRSA ScholarsErin Farmer: Erin earned a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She is originally from Dalton, GA, which is the Carpet Capital of the World, which is usually her fun fact for icebreakers. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2018 with a double major in psychology and theatre. She interned with Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. She primarily served people identifying as victims and survivors of domestic/sexual violence. Erin worked from a humanistic and trauma-informed lens and provided short-term individual and group therapy. She strived to build an egalitarian and empowering relationship with everyone who walked into her (primarily virtual) office and worked hard as a counseling intern to generally leave her clients in a better place than where she met them. She was very honored to play any part in their healing journey. 

Former HRSA Scholars Katherine Plescow: Katherine earned a dual degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She interned with the Fairfax Falls Church Community Service Board’s Jail-Based Team, located at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center. Katherine provided counseling services to incarcerated men and women who have various mental health issues ranging from schizophrenia to personality disorders to substance use disorders. Katherine saw a gap in adequate guidelines for treatment techniques with incarcerated individuals and worked to learn more about how to help them while navigating their loss of autonomy. Katherine hopes to continue working with forensic populations.

Former HRSA ScholarsJakobi Tharpe: Jakobi interned with ACTNOW for Mental Health in the DC Metro area, serving communities historically underserved by the health system including LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, people with physical, intellectual, or mental health disabilities, and people who are uninsured or underinsured. Jakobi is committed to assisting individuals who have historically not sought or received the mental health assistance that all individuals deserve, a philosophy that ACTNOW also emphasizes. Serving alongside other LPC interns and LCSWs, Jakobi worked to blend both areas of mental health and outside resources to provide the best care to clients. Jakobi was born and raised in the Hampton Roads area before graduating from The College of William & Mary and moving to Arlington to pursue his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Marymount University as the first in his family to enter graduate school.

Former HRSA ScholarsKatrina Matthews: Katrina earned a dual degree program in Clinical Mental Health and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She interned at Maryland Family Resource, Inc. (MFR) in Prince George’s (PG) County. The MFR agency provides comprehensive services to children, adolescents, and their families with a plethora of treatment options available. MFR has an interdisciplinary team comprising a multidisciplinary staff of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, MSWs, Special Education consultants, Certified Recreation Therapists, Music, and Art Therapy consultants, and paraprofessionals in rehabilitation and mentoring. This dream team of mental health professionals enables MFR to provide wraparound services to address the unique needs of their clients and the community they serve. Katrina’s caseload during the internship consisted mostly of children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 14 who are dealing with trauma-related diagnoses and symptoms. Katrina plans on continuing her work with children in underserved areas.

Former HRSA ScholarsSavannah Noel: Savannah earned a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She is from Charleston, SC, and graduated from Clemson University with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology and criminal justice. Savannah interned at National Capital Treatment and Recovery in the Phoenix Program, which is an adult male residential program. She served adult males ages 18+ with a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder along with dual diagnoses of varying degrees. While in the program clients receive medically assisted treatment along with group and individual counseling. Savannah learned how to aid clients in the recovery process and practice ethical and evidence-based counseling. Her future goal is to serve the veteran population, specializing in substance use and trauma.

Former HRSA ScholarsPaige Townley: Paige interned at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare – Acute Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia. At North Spring, she provided trauma-informed care to children and adolescents through individual, group, and family therapy. She worked in a team-oriented environment and collaborated with other helping professionals. Paige has presented internationally on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on eating disorder pathology and treatment and regionally on the need for eating disorder research in males. Additionally, she was involved in a project for the scale development of disordered eating and behaviors in males. Paige plans to continue providing mental health services in a rural area.

Former HRSA ScholarsJohn Perry: John earned a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology.  John is the first in their family to obtain a college degree and graduated from Western Carolina University in 2019 with a double major in psychology and criminal justice. John interned with Whitman Walker Health in DC on an interdisciplinary team. They primarily serve individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, those living with HIV+, and individuals who have experienced trauma and are uninsured or underinsured. John worked from an existential-humanistic and trauma-informed lens and provided short-term individual and group therapy. They tried to build an egalitarian and meaningful relationship with everyone who walked into their office and used their time as a counseling intern to connect with clients and support self-discovery. John is honored to be able to follow their passion and work with those who are medically underserved and marginalized.

Former HRSA ScholarsKyle Groth: Kyle interned at National Capital Treatment and Recovery located in Arlington, Virginia. National Capital is a substance abuse recovery facility that serves adults ages 18 and up. National Capital provides a continuum of care from residential treatment to outpatient treatment, as well as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and office-based addiction treatment (OBAT). Kyle helped people start their journey toward recovery by teaching them coping skills and techniques to help support their recovery. Kyle plans to continue to serve the medically underserved population. 

Former HRSA ScholarsMeaghon Omobude: Meaghon interned at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C. For fifty years, Whitman-Walker has specialized in LGBTQ and HIV care, with a mission to provide stigma-free and community-based health and wellness services to all. Meaghon is committed to serving medically underserved populations and continues to seek opportunities that promote equity in not only mental health but all spaces. While at Whitman-Walker Meaghon worked to gain more clinical experience working with gender-expansive populations and to engage in various training that includes somatic experiences, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and substance use recovery.  Meaghon’s goal is to continue working with Whitman-Walker as well as other entities in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area that create and promote accessible and equitable mental health and wellness services for all.

Former HRSA ScholarsAlaina Scott: Alaina interned at National Capital Treatment and Recovery in Arlington, Virginia. National Capital serves adults with a primary focus on substance use and co-occurring mental health problems. National Capital has various levels of care from residential programs to outpatient programs to medication-assisted treatment services. The main mission at National Capital is to save lives and heal communities touched by substance use disorders. Alaina plans to continue working with those affected by substance use.

Former HRSA ScholarsKristie Hoppe: Kristie earned a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She interned at LifeStance Health working with domestic violence offenders and individuals court-ordered for anger management. Kristie plans to continue working with forensic populations and seeking additional training to work with individuals coping with trauma and substance use. 

Former HRSA Scholars

Tania Perez: Tania earned a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She interned at the Arlington Free Clinic, a medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults. As a bilingual individual, she utilizes her skills and knowledge to provide culturally competent counseling services in both English and Spanish. Tania will continue her studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, working to complete her Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education to further her counseling identity, research, advocacy, and supervision knowledge. She also hopes to contribute to the de-stigmatization of mental health in the Latino community in the United States and expand trauma-focused services to immigrant adults and families.

Former HRSA ScholarsBrittany Tokash: Brittany earned a dual degree in Forensic and Legal Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Brittany interned at Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS). She provided free brief trauma counseling for survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and/or human trafficking. The percentage of individuals who suffer from these traumas in the population is higher than many believe, yet the services available are few. Brittany seeks to support and advocate for these survivors by providing free counseling for them to process and heal from their trauma. She plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Former HRSA ScholarsGerlando Hameister: Gerlando is a proud Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate. He interned at Valley Health’s Behavioral Health inpatient unit in Winchester, Va. Gerlando is looking forward to expanding his understanding, knowledge, and skillset for working with acute psychosis at the inpatient level. In the past, he’s had opportunities to work with the National Counseling Group (NCG), serving underserved populations in his community. During his time at NCG, he enjoyed the experience of providing both Intensive-in-home services (IIH) and Therapeutic-day treatment (TDT) to both adolescents and adults in need. Gerlando is most interested in human behavior and behavior modification across all spectrums of mental health.   

Former HRSA ScholarsTyler Banks: Tyler earned a dual degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She interned at The Arlington County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), an environment where children feel safe to share their experiences. While at the CAC, children receive comprehensive assessment and counseling services to meet their particular needs while ensuring protection and quality care.