It is no surprise why NBCC Foundation’s Program Manager Melonie Davis recently received a Forty Under 40 Alumni Award from the Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Young Alumni Council. With her track record in working to expand mental health access to underserved populations, Davis was a clear candidate for this honor.
The Forty Under 40 Awards program seeks to identify alumni aged 40 or younger who have demonstrated significant contributions in their respective fields. Recipients also fundraise to support scholarships at WSSU. The university’s motto, “Enter to learn, depart to serve,” is an ideal that Davis has worked to uphold throughout her career, and she is humbled to receive it.
“While everything I do is always from the heart and not for any sort of recognition or award,” Davis said, “it always feels good to be seen and acknowledged by those I respect. I hope that my work can inspire others to be agents of change in their communities as well.”
Davis is a 2006 graduate of WSSU with a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy, dedicating her time to the community by providing mental health services to physically and developmentally disabled children and adults. While volunteering at her son’s school, she worked closely with their guidance counselor. Davis recalled, “I was able to observe a lack of connection between student needs and an understanding of cultural competence. I had been working in mental health services for about eight years at that time and decided to return to school to obtain my master’s degree and become a licensed counselor in order to help address what I believed was a gap in services.”
Davis went on to earn her MA in clinical mental health counseling from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as well as becoming a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Davis uses her talents to work closely with the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) and NBCC Foundation scholars. The goals of the MFP are to strengthen the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increase the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved and never-served populations.
Davis aims to actively provide guidance support for future counselors to develop professional identity and increase diversity in the profession. Her mission is to live a life with integrity and empathy, use her creativity and positivity to better the lives of those around her, and accomplish these goals by working in harmony with others.
Davis will be honored with the other Forty Under 40 recipients during a gala held later in 2021. NBCC and Affiliates is proud to have her on our team and is appreciative of her dedication to expanding mental health services to underserved populations.