Pastoral counseling student selected for NBCC Minority Fellowship Program
Shinelle Oglesby, a graduate student in Loyola University Maryland’s Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling program, has been awarded a $5,000 fellowship from the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation for her commitment to serving disadvantaged populations.
Her focus is support for people who experience urban trauma—the loss of a family member to violence or incarceration, repeated exposure to criminal activity, prolonged financial uncertainty, and lack of opportunity. After she graduates from Loyola in May 2016 and receives her counseling license, Oglesby plans to work with young adult women in the Baltimore area suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder associated with urban trauma, sexual abuse, and intimate partner violence, and depression from pervasive hopelessness. Often these women have limited or no access to counseling services.
“I want not only to be a therapist but also a resource for education, someone who can let these communities know that there is help for suffering, that accessing help is essential,” said Oglesby.
The 37-year-old mother of two teenage daughters is switching careers to pursue a higher calling. Oglesby worked at the Maryland State Retirement Agency for 13 years and was promoted to an assistant director position in cash management, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Sojourner-Douglass College along the way. She was a single mother at the time. Now married and enrolled at Loyola full time, she says this is direction her heart was always pulling her.
She also serves as a minister at the Charity Community Church of God near her home in the Gwynn Oak neighborhood of Baltimore City.
“I’ve always wanted to be that person who knows how to meet people where they are, be that listening ear, be that person who can affirm and encourage people no matter where they are in their life,” Oglesby said. “I have felt God’s mercy on my life. It was a healing type of grace that I felt from him and from the people he placed around me.”
The NBCC Foundation minority fellowship, one of only 40 awarded to master’s-level students nationwide, helps fund her tuition and costs related to the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification.