Skye Anfield is an addictions counseling master’s fellow in the 2022-2023 class of the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). He received a B.A. from New York University and is currently pursuing a master’s in the professional mental health counseling addictions program at the Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Presently, Skye is the director and founder of Arbor House Portland, a sober living facility that provides residential and wrap-around recovery services to women, non-binary, and femme-identifying individuals in Portland, Oregon. His professional interests include improving culturally sensitive mental health services and advancing equitable and accessible addictions treatment for marginalized groups, especially the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color women, LGBTQ+ women, first-generation women, and immigrant women in recovery from substance use disorders and other comorbid disorders.
Skye was initially introduced to the MFP through his advisor’s recommendation. He shared, “As an extension of my work as director at Arbor House Portland, I ended up enrolling in my master’s program. My advisor, Dr. Alexia De Leon, was familiar with my work with women from various marginalized populations and substance use disorder and recommended that I apply. At the time I wasn’t aware that she was an MFP fellow as a doctoral student!”
When reflecting on how the MFP has enriched his academic and professional career, Skye shared that the mentorship, academic and professional connections, and networking opportunities have been very rewarding. He stated, “Building a community with others across the country that share a similar mission has been a powerful experience, and I was happily surprised at how, after only 6 months, our cohort feels so tight knit! My mentor has proven to be a strong fit, and much of my individual fellowship program and master’s program work is related to strengthening my programming and approach in my current role. I've connected with presenters at both the Bridging the Gap symposium and the Association for Addictions Professionals conference who presented on topics that were either directly related to my current work or enhanced/shifted my professional ambitions. Within our MFP cohort there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to pull from. My mentor has also been helpful in pinpointing local organizations that can assist in my professional mission. Everyone has been approachable and accessible!”
Skye plans to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from the MFP as an educator, clinician, and advocate for equitable addictions counseling for women. He stated, “In my current position at the Arbor House Portland, I have had the opportunity to integrate the approaches and interventions that I am learning through the MFP to the populations I work with directly. As I intend to maintain my target population in the future, as well as my current position, I plan on continuing with the same fluidity while engaging with my clients from a place of humility to find what's truly effective.”
Skye’s current work is centered on making low-cost/low-barrier, universal and culturally competent substance use disorder treatment more accessible for individuals of all populations. His post-MFP career goals include gaining his licensure and practicing in a clinical setting. He explained, “After completing my degree, I plan to provide services as a licensed professional counselor at the Arbor House Portland. Through my work, I hope to strengthen our relational-cultural approach to sober living. More ambitiously, I plan to become a program director in an inpatient/intensive outpatient program.”
When asked if he had advice for anyone thinking about applying to the MFP, Skye remarked, “Do it! The experience has been rewarding in many ways beyond the scholarship funds. The sense of community and rich network of supports is empowering, the resources are endless, and the NBCC foundation is a pleasure to work with! Being around so many other individuals with a shared mission in making addiction and mental health services more equitable, accessible, and culturally appropriate gives me so much hope in what I do in recovery in general!”
In closing, Skye shared these encouraging remarks about his NBCC program experience, “The NBCC foundation might be the most on-the-ball, organized organization I have ever interacted with, which makes the process so much easier!”