08:44 AM

Social Work Students Selected for Fellowship

Alexis Chavez

Two deserving UHD students were recently selected to receive the Betsy Schwartz Field Fellowship from Mental Health America of Greater Houston.

Katelyn McClelland and Aleida Chavez, undergraduate social work students, were chosen for the 400 hour internship at MHA to gain a greater understanding of issues in mental health and community need.

According to McClelland, she is honored to have received the fellowship and looks forward to continuing her studies in social work.

"I am passionate about social work because it is a broad field filled with opportunities to change the world. Social work involves bits and pieces of other disciplines such as political science, sociology, psychology and criminal justice, which is why I find the field to be so interesting," she said. "This fellowship will compliment my studies at UHD by providing opportunities to learn about mental health in the Houston community and how MHA operates. The Betsy Schwartz Fellowship is a fantastic opportunity and I am very appreciative to have received this honor."

Chavez also plans to earn a master's degree in social work following her UHD graduation, which is also a milestonKate Mcclellande. She will be the first in her family to earn a college degree.

Regarding her passion for social work, she said, "I am interested in the areas of mental health and micro practice and my ultimate goal is to have a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) degree and be an independent therapist with my own practice. I have worked many years in the healthcare industry and see the great need in the community for mental health professionals, advocates and case managers.

"MHA does an outstanding job at training professional and community health workers in the mental health issues that plague our local community. In the short month that I have had the honor to be a Betsy Schwartz Fellow, I have learned so much on mental health issues, such as perinatal depression and many returning veteran's struggles with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Being an intern at MHA is the perfect fit for my future goals and I want to learn as much as I can to apply these learned tools when I become a licensed social worker," said Chavez.

This annual fellowship honors the legacy of Betsy Schwartz, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health America of Greater Houston. Established by a gift from Joan and Stanford Alexander, the Fellowship provides stipends and internships to undergraduate social work students from the University of Houston-Downtown who have demonstrated a commitment to building a career in mental health and/or behavioral health.