HRSA Scholar Highlights

HRSA Scholar Highlights Meet Tyler Banks: Tyler is in the dual degree program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She is currently interning 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.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Lauren Chu: Lauren is currently an intern 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.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Erin Farmer: Erin is a student in the dual degree Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology program. 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 is currently interning with Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. She primarily serves people identifying as victims and survivors of domestic/sexual violence. Erin works from a humanistic and trauma-informed lens and provides short-term individual and group therapy. She strives to build an egalitarian and empowering relationship with everyone who walks into her (primarily virtual) office and hopes to use her time as a counseling intern to generally leave her clients in a better place than where she met them. She is honored to play any part in someone’s healing journey. 

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Katherine Plescow: Katherine is in the dual degree program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She is interning with the Fairfax Falls Church Community Service Board’s Jail-Based Team, located at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center. Katherine provides 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 hopes to learn more about how to help them while navigating their loss of autonomy. Katherine hopes to continue working with forensic populations after graduation.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Jakobi Tharpe: Jakobi is interning 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 ACTNOW also emphasizes. Serving alongside other LPC interns and LCSWs, Jakobi works 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.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Katrina Matthews: Katrina is in the dual degree program for Clinical Mental Health and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She is currently interning 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 consists 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.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Savannah Noel: Savannah is a student in the dual degree Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology program. She is from Charleston, SC, and graduated from Clemson University with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology and criminal justice. Savannah is currently interning at National Capital Treatment and Recovery in the Phoenix Program, which is an adult male residential program. She serves 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 hopes to learn 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.

HRSA Scholar Highlights Meet Paige Townley: Paige is currently an intern at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare – Acute Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia. At North Spring, she provides trauma-informed care to children and adolescents through individual, group, and family therapy. She works in a team-oriented environment and collaborates 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 is involved in a project for the scale development of disordered eating and behaviors in males. Paige would like to continue to provide mental health services in a rural area after graduation.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet John Perry: John is a student in the dual degree Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology program.  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 is currently interning with Whitman Walker Health in DC on an interdisciplinary team. They primarily serve individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, those living with HIV+, individuals that have experienced trauma, and are uninsured or underinsured. John works from an existential-humanistic and trauma-informed lens and provides short-term individual and group therapy. They strive to build an egalitarian and meaningful relationship with everyone who walks into their office and hopes to use 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 that are medically underserved and marginalized.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Kyle Groth: Kyle is interning 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 is looking to help people start their journey toward recovery by teaching them coping skills and techniques to help support their recovery. Kyle is looking forward to continuing to serve the medically underserved population. 

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Meaghon Omobude: Meaghon is a clinical mental health counseling student presently completing her internship 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 completing the internship Meaghon plans to gain more clinical experience working specifically with Black and Indigenous People of Color who identify as Queer. She also is eager to engage in various training that includes somatic experiences, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and substance use. Upon graduation, Meaghon hopes 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 care for all.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Alaina Scott: Alaina is currently interning 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 upon completing her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Kristie Hoppe: Kristie is a graduate student in the dual Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology program. She is interning at LifeStance Health working with domestic violence offenders and individuals court-ordered for anger management. After graduation Kristie hopes to continue working with forensic populations and seeking additional training to work with individuals coping with trauma and substance use. 

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Tania Perez: Tania is in the dual degree program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic and Legal Psychology. She is currently interning 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. Upon graduation, 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.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Brittany Tokash: Brittany is in the dual degree program for Forensic and Legal Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Brittany is currently interning at Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS). She is providing 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. After graduating, she plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.

HRSA Scholar HighlightsMeet Gerlando Hameister: Gerlando is a proud graduate student in his last year in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. He is interning 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.