Cal U Old Main

Observer-Reporter

California University of Pennsylvania’s Old Main building

CALIFORNIA – California University of Pennsylvania has been awarded a $1.3 million federal grant to help graduate students in programs that deal with the nation’s opioid crisis.

The money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide 27 stipends of $10,000 to students seeking careers in drug addiction recovery and prevention in urban or rural settings, the university announced Wednesday.

“This is awesome for our students,” said Sheri Boyle, chairman of the social work department.

She said some of the students who qualify for the stipends have families and are required to perform many hours of unpaid advanced practicums.

“It’s a huge bonus,” Boyle said.

The money will be distributed over three years and also will be used for training in the community. It’s the second time Cal U. has been awarded such a grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration Opioid Workforce Expansion program, said Cal U. spokeswoman Wendy Mackall.

“Cal U.’s counselor education and social work programs address addiction, but this grant will really help our students get that additional training in substance use disorders,” said Elizabeth Gruber, chairman of the counselor education department.

The project will help students who are working toward a degree in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling or social work.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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