Building self-sufficiency through independent living skills.
New Progressions, LLC provides support to the people with disabilities empowering them to make informed choices in the management of their lives. The foundation of our focus will be on the quality of services provided rather than the quantity of individuals served. We will strive to help individuals become self-sufficient through independent living skills. We will do so by planning, coordinating and operating the highest quality services to consumers, families, decision makers and the public at large.
Meet Our Team in Georgia
Geovon Martin - CEO
Mr. Martin has almost two decades of Mental Health direct care experience. Mr. Martin started his Mental Health career back in 1996 at the age of 19. His first mental health job was at a state psychiatric facility named Cherry Hospital, located in Goldsboro, NC. Mr. Martin worked at Cherry Hospital for about two years. After leaving Goldsboro, NC to go off to college, Mr. Martin then transferred to another state psychiatric facility called Dorthea Dix hospital were he was a PRN Mental Health Care Technician.
Mr. Martin stayed in Raleigh, NC for about a year. Due to a family tragedy, Mr. Martin took a couple of years off from working in the Mental Health field. In 2002, Mr. Martin started back working in the Mental Health field. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Martin worked in various Mental health residential facilities as well as being PRN at Moses Cone Behavioral Health. Also during this period, Mr. Martin worked in different community based mental health programs.
In 2006 Mr. Martin founded G & D Residential Services, LLC who was named in honor of his mother and late father. In 2012, Mr. Martin changed the name from G & D residential Services, LLC to New Progressions, LLC. This change was made to reflect the fact that he no longer just provided mental health residential care, but other community mental health services as well.
Nikichelle Tanks - COO
Nikichelle Tanks has been working with the behavioral health population in the state of Georgia since 2002 after seeking a career change from the world of Biology. One of her first jobs in Georgia was operating as a Communicable Disease Specialist where she saw an astonishing amount of teenagers coming in for STD treatment. Her nurturing spirit became the driving force to her career change as she searched how to get to the teenagers before such heavy diagnosis.
She started off contracting with The Department of Family and Children services as a behavioral aide. Doing wrap around and parenting services was also not enough prevention so Nikichelle switched over to working with behavioral health. Her leadership skills were sought out as she became the resource queen for Metro Atlanta and surrounding counties.
For the past ten years, her experience as Operations gave the opportunity to understand more in depth how lack of support and economics affected poor decision making leading to behavioral issues. In an effort to break the trend and/or generational curses, Nikichelle dedicates herself to prevention/intervention specific programs for both adults and children. Her ultimate goal is to not only mentor but to also reconnect the underserved population to their community while educating on the purpose of wholistic health approach.
Sedara Burson - Clinical Director
Sedara Burson is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Master Addiction Counselor, and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Georgia with over thirteen years of experience providing psychotherapy. She studied family systems and earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Sophia University in Palo Alto, CA (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), a Bachelor’s in Business Management and an Associate’s in Liberal Studies from Kentucky State University.
For the past thirteen years, she has had the honor to provide psychotherapy with adolescents, adults, individuals, families and groups in clinic and home settings. A large amount of her work has focused on family systems, substance abuse, trauma, depression and grief and loss. All of those experiences assist her with understanding, serving and connecting with clients. She walks with clients on their journey to define and achieve optimal health - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.
She has worked in Corporate America, the non-profit sector, social services and community mental health clinics, hospitals and academia. Sedara is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the Licensed Professional Counselor Association of Georgia. Her passion and purpose is to serve others through, training, education and supervision.
Dr. RK Avasthi, MD - Psychiatrist
Dr RK Avasthi, is a double board certified Adult and Child Psychiatrist working here in Atlanta, GA. He is currently the medical director for the Peace of Mind Psychiatric Services Clinic. He is also the lead psychiatrist for the Southern Crescent Behavioral Health System Partial Hospital Program that specializes in substance abuse and recovery. Dr. Avasthi completed his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia, a part of Augusta University. He stayed on to work as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. He also serves as an Adjunct Clinical Professor for Morehouse School of Medicine.
Dr. Avasthi has lectured around the US at regional and national meetings for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and also at the American Psychiatric Association, where he was selected as an Investigator in Clinical Psychobiology for the 2013 Research Colloquium.
Dr. Avasthi was appointed to the national Disaster and Trauma Committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has also been elected to serve as an Assembly Delegate for the Georgia Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has received a number of awards for leadership and service.
Damiana Oni, LCSW, ACII - QAQI
Damiana Oni has worked in the social work industry for over 30 years. She migrated from Lagos, Nigeria in 1987 after completion of her undergraduate study from the Chartered Insurance Institute, London, gaining experience in property and life insurance risk management. She lived in New York where she worked and completed her graduate study at Fordham University, Lincoln Center, NY in 2000. She relocated to Georgia in 2005, has earned her LCSW in 2007. Though, a seasoned psychotherapist, she continues to yearn towards sharpening her knowledge and skills in mood and personality disorders.
Damiana is passionate about world hunger and health aid projects thereby collaborating with several aid/charity agencies around the world to promote quality of life to the most vulnerable. Outside of the office, Damiana enjoys traveling and enjoying a good time with friends and family.
Dr. Afiya Burson PhD, LPC, NCC - Peer Center Clinical Director
Dr. Afiya Burson is the Peer Center Clinical Director. She has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and supervision, a MA in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Counseling, and a BA in Psychology. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and national certified counselor (NCC). Dr. Burson has worked with diverse populations in various settings here in the Greater Atlanta area, Chicago, and Washington DC. She has presented at both national and regional conferences on various topics including African American Women’s Experiences in Academia, African American Women’s Experiences in the Work Place, The Therapeutic Relationship in Couples Counseling, and The Impact of Shared Experiences on the Therapeutic Relationship. Dr. Burson enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. She loves to cook and spend time with her family.
Aiyana Marshall, LPC, NCC - Interim Child and Adolescent Clinical Director
Aiyana Marshall is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mercer University. She also holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Ms Marshall is an established clinician that has over ten plus years of experience in the mental and behavioral health field. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents and families.
Maryann Malena, LMSW - Latino Program Manager
Maryann Malena, LMSW is a licensed master of social work and program manager for our Latino community. She is a therapist and assessor and provides services in both English and Spanish. Maryann is a graduate of Arizona State University and nationally certified in Trauma Focused - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She enjoys travelling, dance, and martial arts.
Meet Our Team in Mississipi
Dr. Maxie Gordon - Psychologist
Dr. Gordon is an experienced psychiatrist who has been practicing in Mississippi and the Southeast since 1996. A graduate of Meharry Medical College, Dr. Gordon completed his undergraduate education at Belhaven University and completed graduate school at Jackson State University. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Gordon has led CME and conducted research. He believes in using his knowledge and expertise to help others and improve life in his community.
Sylvia Morris - Office Manager
Sylvia Morris is the Office Manager and QA/QI Director for New Progressions of Ms. She has been working in the health/behavior related fields for 23 years which includes 12 years of experience in administration. Not only handling the day-to-day office administrative duties, Sylvia is responsible for making sure the office runs smoothly by frequently interacting with staff, clients, caregivers other offices and provider, answering general office phone calls and emails so that our clinicians can focus on clients. She also ensures the office has the necessary supplies and equipment needed, coordinates the office activities. Sylvia obtains all authorizations for services and ensures that the billing of those services is submitted timely as well. As the QA/QI Director, Sylvia ensures that the office remains in compliance with all governing bodies as well and the payer sources.
Sylvia’s motto is “teamwork makes the dream work” and she strives to maintain a cohesive work environment where staff can effectively provide quality care to the clients being served at New Progressions of Mississippi.
Frederick Terry, MS - Nurse
Frederick Marvin Terry is a native of Terry, MS. He has been married for 15 years to his lovely wife Sylvia Terry. He is a graduate of Terry High School class of 1997 where he was voted most likely to succeed. He began his college matriculation at Jackson State University where he attended on an athletic scholarship. After his first year he transferred to Belhaven College where he finished with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems. While in attendance at Belhaven he was a member and starting defensive lineman for the college’s first football team in school history. Fred later found his true calling in the medical field.
He worked 7 years as a psychiatric technician after which he returned to school to receive his Licensed Practical Nursing certification from Hinds Community College where he was co-valedictorian of his class. After a short stent as a LPN Fred returned to school to receive his Associates Degree in Nursing from Holmes Community College where he was salutatorian of his class. He has nursing experience in Psychiatric, Dialysis, Critical Care and Emergency Room Nursing. He spent several years as a travel nurse after which he returned home to become a part of the New Progressions Team.
At New Progression he holds the title of Charge Nurse and Infection Control Manager. He is BLS, ACLS, PALS and CPI Certified. He is also a Certified Instructor for American Heart Association where he is an Authorized Training Site for AHA. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honors society, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and Terry Masonic Lodge #79
Martina Hooten MSW - Children's Day Treatment Services Director
Martina Hooten is a Master Social Worker (MSW) and a Provisionally Certified Mental Health Therapist (PCMHT). Martina has over 6 years of experience working with children, families and individuals as an agent of support and guidance. Martina’s professional life includes a commitment to serving the needs of children and families as she is the Children’s Day Treatment Services Director at New Progressions of MS.
Martina is an experienced social worker and provides services to youth and families experiencing a variety of challenges. Martina graduated from Thee Jackson State University where she received her Master’s in Social Work. Martina continuously seeks to gain more skills and broaden her scope of work.
Martina’s person mission statement is “each one, reach one.” Martina enjoys molding the minds of youth, connecting with families and assisting them to meet their needs. Martina is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, and she enjoys serving her community.
Dr. Bryman E. Williams - Psychologist
A native of Lake Providence, Louisiana, is a clinical psychologist licensed in Louisiana and Mississippi. He has been practicing as a licensed clinical psychologist since 2009. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Southern University A. & M. at Baton Rouge. He received a Master of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
He received his doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Jackson State University, where he served as the Director of Clinical Training for JSU’s APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology for 11 years. He has provided psychology consulting services for a number of state and local agencies located in the Jackson metropolitan area including Jackson Public Schools, Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi Department of Health’s Division of STD/HIV.