Megan Hess
Student Writer

Messiah College graduate student Tasha Herner was chosen recently as a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship from the NBCC (National Board for Certified Counselors) Foundation due to her work with veterans at Five Star Veterans Center.

“The NBCC Foundation wanted to give three scholarships to students who would commit to serving this population during graduate school and for a minimum of two years after graduation,” Herner said.

Currently a resident of Jacksonville, Florida, Herner found herself attracted to Messiah for three main reasons: “the master’s counseling program is CACREP-accredited; it is a Christian university, and I can take my classes online.” She will graduate May 2016.

Messiah is “the only online, faith-based, CACREP-accredited (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs), master’s in counseling program in Pennsylvania and the only CACREP-accredited, online, faith-based program in marriage, couple and family counseling in the U.S.,” according to

“Upon graduation, I intend to work with active-duty service members and veterans, particularly those struggling with addictions, civilian reintegration and trauma-related symptoms,” says Herner.

In May 2015, Herner began her current internship at Five Star Veterans Center. According to the center’s website,, “The Five Star Veterans Center is a nonprofit corporation committed to making a positive impact in the community by assisting those men and women who, when answering the call to duty, protected the freedom of that same community by serving their nation. Our mission is to ensure a positive impact in North Florida by offering safe/secure housing to displaced veterans, in an attempt to alleviate veteran homelessness.”

Herner contributes to their mission by utilizing her classroom knowledge and gaining real-world experience.

“I provide individual and group counseling to veterans dealing with addictions, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), TBI (traumatic brain injury), and other mental illnesses, as well as advocate for them with individuals in the community,” says Herner.

Located in Jacksonville, Florida, Five Star Veterans Center opened in 2012. Since then, over 70 veterans have benefitted from the services it provides.

“I am very honored to have been selected for the scholarship, as well as to be an intern at Five Star Veterans Center. Being a part of the NBCC Foundation family will open doors for me that I would not previously have had, such as having an organization to support my counseling education, recognize my commitment to the underserved, and strengthen my professional identity as a counselor,” says Herner.