Campus Hearst/CSU scholar overcomes learning disability

Brittany Beard, a Fresno State graduate student in Counseling, entered a world where social structure presented numerous challenges.

But the adopted, multi-racial woman with a learning disability, who was raised in a single-parent home, met her challenges and is Fresno State’s 2013 recipient of the William R. Hearst/California State University Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement is awarded to 23 students — one from each of the CSU campuses — who have demonstrated financial need, experienced personal hardship and model exemplary academic performance, community service and personal accomplishments.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation endowed the scholarship fund in 1984, and it was supplemented beginning in 1999 with trustee contributions and private donations. Each year, the Hearst/CSU Trustees program awards $3,000 to each recipient. There are four other scholarship awards ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

Beard was also named a Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Reed Scholar earlier this semester.

In 2012, California State University Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Reed endowed a scholarship fund to further recognize an exemplary recipient of the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The California State University Foundation Board of Governors honored his commitment to students by naming this outstanding individual as the Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Reed Scholar.

Dr. Reed, who served as chancellor of the California State University from 1998 to 2012, spent more than 25 years as the leader of the country’s largest higher educational system.

This is the second year the award has been given in Reed’s honor and Beard is the first Fresno State student to receive it.

As an undergraduate, she was part of the National Coalition Building Institute and selected as a NextGen Leader by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She received President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for dedicating more than 850 internship hours to Teaching Fellows, Central High School and the César Chávez Foundation.

Beard, whose Counseling option is Marriage and Family Therapy, maintains a 3.84 GPA while working on a Pupil Personnel Services credential in the Kremen School of Education and Human Resources.

She also works two internships:at Tioga Middle School in Fresno as a school counselor and at the Spirit of Women substance abuse residential facility where she provides mental health services and facilitates groups, individuals, couples and families therapy sessions for recovering clients.

Additionally, she provides in-home tutoring services to at-risk youth.

“I want to coach youth about how to use their hardships as tools and motivation to do positive things in their community,” said Beard, who is African- and Mexican-American.

She is establishing a multicultural counseling student association that will offer students the opportunity to affiliate with the American Counseling Association. In the future, Beard hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in counseling education and supervision to make a positive impact on individuals, organizations and her community.

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Tom Uribes

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Public Affairs Specialist, University Communications
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