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Maryland Counseling Association

2018 Emerging Leaders Program

The MCA Emerging Leaders Program was designed to provide graduate counseling students, new professionals, and experienced professionals with cultivating experiences that support leadership skill and competency development, and diverse opportunities to actively participate in MCA Executive Board meetings, serve on a committee, task force, and/or engage in projects of interest, receive mentorship, build professional networks, and gain exposure to the responsibilities associated with fulfilling elected leadership positions.

Two individuals will be selected from the following applicant categories - graduate counseling students (master’s or doctoral), new professionals (within one-year post graduation), and experienced professionals (graduated before 2017). MCA Emerging Leaders will provide a minimum of 30 hours of service to the MCA during the 2018-2019 fiscal year (July 2018 to June 2019). Recipients must be an MCA member at the time of application submission, and status (i.e., master, doctoral, new professional, experienced professional) should be based on student/graduation status as of June 1, 2018. New professionals must have graduated within the previous calendar year (2017) to qualify for the program; otherwise they should apply as an experienced professional. Emerging Leaders will receive free conference registration to the 2018 Maryland Counseling Association Annual and be recognized at the conference as an Emerging Leader. Recipients will also be recognized on MCA’s website and also be featured in the MCA newsletter Compass Points.

Applicants who have exhibited exceptional leadership potential and that hold a willingness to serve MCA in a variety of roles for the betterment of the counseling profession and the consumers of counseling services are sought. Please see Emerging Leaders Overview for more detailed information.

Interested applicants should submit the following to Cathie Eaton at pelect@MDCounseling.org no later than May 25, 2018:

  1. The MCA Emerging Leaders application
  2. Your curriculum vitae
  3. Two letters of recommendation describing your leadership skills and experiences, and reasons why you should be selected to serve as an Emerging Leader

Click here for an Application.

The selection committee will notify applicants of the status of their application by July 1, 2018. Upon receipt of an application, a confirmation email will be sent. If you have any questions, please contact Cathie Eaton at pelect@MDCounseling.org.

Emerging Leaders for 2018-2019

Keith Gethers, MA Candidate, Clinical Mental Health

Mr. Gethers is completing studies in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Trinity Washington University, where he has distinguished himself by spearheading the formation of the first Graduate Counseling Association. He is a career-change professional who has worked in Law Enforcement, Education and Victim Advocacy, and whose current areas of interest include Addictions, Public Safety, Workplace Issues and Social Justice. Mr. Gethers has also earned degrees from Johns Hopkins University (MS, Management), Frostburg State University (BS, Political Science), and Valley Forge Junior Military College (AA, Criminal Justice). 



Annyck Hamez

Born and raised in France, I studied Education with a minor in Psychology in the 80ties. I have been an enthusiastic teacher, and engaged person, in the journey of life, in the Metropolitan area. Lessons in my class were created to engage and stimulate the young learners’ passion in their own life. I have been curious and observed how people think and act, and I am highly multicultural. My passion has been to help young children, and prepare them to become our next leaders, increased with my experience at an inner-city charter school in DC, in 2012. Seeing children with various levels of social-emotional distresses completed my motivation to join the Trinity Washington University Counseling Master’s Program. I presented a research on “Refugees and Immigrants” and the relationship with Counseling, in 2016. I have designed and applied a research: “Inside Healing for Better Learning” that increased student’s achievements, the 2016-2017 school year. I presented this project at the MCA annual conference in November 2017. This past school year, Montgomery County Public Schools chose me to represent the French Immersion Teachers, for Teacher Appreciation week.

Kenya A. Kirkland

I am currently an Academic Advisor at Trinity Washington University, where I work with and support undergraduate students through their academic journeys. Higher education is a transitional time that impacts students’ emotional, social, academic, and professional development. I held various positions in higher education over an eight-year span, and understand the impact of the college experience on students’ beliefs about themselves and their abilities. I am pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Trinity Washington University, and my goal is to continue to work in higher education, especially with minority students who attend Predominantly White Institutions (PWI). Since starting the master’s program, I have presented at Trinity’s Research Colloquium and Social Justice Research Forum on issues including LGBTQ advocacy, Post-Incarceration, and Substance Abuse. I am a two-time graduate from Georgetown University; I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. I am excited about the opportunity to serve as an Emerging Leader and connect with other members in the field.

Rachel Stivers 

Rachel s a first-year student at Argosy University perusing her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a 2018-2019 Emerging Leader for the Maryland Counseling Association. Rachel currently works at the National Evaluation System for health Technology Coordinating Center and was previously employed at the National Health Council, where she has focused on amplifying the patient voice in health care settings. In her future counseling career, she has interests in trauma in children and teens in in-patient settings.



Emerging Leaders for 2017-2018

Mikyala Ayers, MA, LCPC

Many people experience various stressors in everyday life. I have a passion of working with people who have experienced the most severe life stressors yet have developed a resilience unlike most others. As a program manager of a mobile mental health treatment team for People Encouraging People, I assists severely mentally ill clients navigate everyday life by guiding my staff of clinicians to provide wrap-around supports and services to them in the community. I have worked in the mental health field for 9 years: 1 year as a counseling intern at Montgomery County Crisis Center and 8 years in the mental health field at People Encouraging People as a case manager, team leader and program manager for various mobile mental health treatment teams. I graduated with a Masters in Community Counseling from George Washington University and a Bachelor's in Psychology from University of Maryland-College Park. I recently received my LCPC for the state of Maryland, as well as became certified to be a DLA-20 trainer, i.e. a mental health assessment required for treatment authorizations through insurance providers.


Perri Hooper, BS Psychology, BS Sociology

I am a current Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic Psychology student at Marymount University. I received a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Towson University, in Baltimore, Maryland. Within the first year of the counseling program, I have presented at the VACES and Illuminate conferences involving research around gender dysphoria and eating disorders. I am currently a practicum intern at a juvenile detention in Northern Virginia, where I work with at risk youth. I am particularly interested in working with LGBTQ+ populations which my current research is centered around. I have five years of leadership experience in my previous career and I hope to learn how to apply those skills to my counseling career. In the Emerging Leader's program I hope to make network and learn from many professionals in the MCA.



Maryland Counseling Association
P.O. Box 2515
Germantown, MD 20875
Phone: 410-931-5010 Fax: 410-931-5013
info@MDCounseling.org

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