Two graduate students in the clinical mental health counseling program at UW-Stout have received major national scholarships.
Lindsey Drachenberg Laube and Kendra Olson each were awarded $15,000 for the 2022-23 academic year from the National Board for Certified Counselors to support their studies as they prepare to become mental health counselors.
Laube, from Arena in southwestern Wisconsin, and Olson, from Minneapolis, also each received free trips to NBCC conferences this past June in Washington, D.C., and in June 2023 in Atlanta, as well as a trip in October to the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors in Indianapolis.
The financial support and recognition are impactful, Laube said.
“This scholarship has enabled me, professionally, to learn from trailblazers in the field and become better equipped to serve my clients. It has allowed me to feel encouraged by being surrounded by other young professionals. Personally, it has alleviated some financial stress due to my partner and I both being in graduate school. It has also silenced a bit of my imposter syndrome and makes me feel like I am contributing something important to the mental health field,” Laube said.
She expects to finish her Master of Science degree in summer 2023. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UW-Eau Claire, where she is interning in the counseling center.
Laube also is a graduate assistant in UW-Stout’s CMHC program and works as a nanny for two families.
The opportunity and privilege to help others is why she is excited to be part of the mental health counseling field.
“I was drawn to this field because of the ability to simply sit with people and be with them as they disclose what makes them human. I have learned there is so much power in someone’s presence and am thrilled to get to provide that for someone, along with top tier interventions thanks to my professors and mentors. I’m also excited to get to provide psychoeducation that I’ve learned in a way makes individuals feel less ‘strange’ and more human and accepted,” she said.
Clinical mental health counseling, a nationally accredited program with five concentrations, is one of 24 programs in UW-Stout’s Graduate School. The program is administered in Heritage Hall.
A major renovation of the hall received priority approval on Aug. 19 at the UW System Board of Regents meeting. The project is ranked No. 1 in the Chippewa Valley and third for UW System academic buildings.
The state job outlook for graduates from most of the programs based in the building is expected to grow between 6% and 15% by 2025. The improved capacity provided by the Heritage Hall renovations will help provide qualified Wisconsin workers to address workforce needs.