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About New Prograssions LLC


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 - New Progressions LLC CEO

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, MSLD, CAMS - 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 behind her career change as she searched for how to get to the teenagers before such a 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 in Operations gave the opportunity to understand more in-depth how lack of support and economics affected poor decisions which also lead 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 be a mentor but to also reconnect the underserved population to their community while educating them on the purpose of a holistic health approach.

Sedara Burson - Clinical Director

Sedara Burson, LPC, CPCS, MAC - Director of Clinical Services

Sedara Burson is a  Licensed Professional Counselor,  Master Addiction Counselor,  and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Georgia with over fifteen 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 fifteen 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 AssociationAssociation for Multicultural Counseling and DevelopmentSouthern 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. 

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Chelsea Hill, LPC - Child and Adolescent Clinical Director

Chelsea Hill is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia with 10 plus years of experience in CORE services. She completed her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Argosy University in 2016 and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kennesaw State University in 2011. Chelsea has extensive experience working with a wide range of mental health issues with both children and adults. Chelsea specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families with trauma, anxiety, depression, LGBTQ+ issues, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions/issues.


Chelsea has training in a variety of counseling methods including CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Choice Theory, and Person-Centered methods. Chelsea utilizes a non-directive approach to counseling to help you build trust in yourself and your ability to overcome the challenges you and your family may face. Community and self-advocacy are important issues for Chelsea. Through a collaborative effort, Chelsea will work with you and your family to accomplish the goals you set for yourselves. Chelsea has a strong interest in helping you and your family become your greatest advocates.

Dr. RK Avasthi, MD - Psychiatrist

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.

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LaToria Hart, LPN - Clinical Manager

Latoria Hart, born with a compassionate heart, has always aspired to make a difference in people's lives. She began her journey in mental health nursing driven by a desire to help those facing psychological struggles. Graduating from Chattahoochee Technical College in 2010 as a Practical Nurse, Latoria's empathy and genuine concern for others have set her apart.

She quickly immersed herself in the outpatient community mental health field, where her warmth and compassion became her hallmark. Over the years, she has supported individuals in crisis and provided long-term care for those managing chronic mental health conditions, always with empathy and understanding.

Committed to continuous learning, Latoria is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. She is honored to walk alongside her patients on their journey towards healing and recovery, and looks forward to making a meaningful impact in mental health nursing.

Damiana Oni, LCSW, ACII - QAQI

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 Peer Center Clinical Director

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.

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Tamara Jones, CADCII, PP - ADSS Program Manager

Tamara Jones is dedicated to assisting Atlanta’s underserved population that suffers from co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders. She obtained her Bachelor's degree from Georgia Southern University, and completed her Masters of Public Administration from Troy State University. She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II, with twenty plus years of experience in several areas related to Social Services and Substance Abuse treatment. Tamara has worked in many capacities with New Progressions since 2015. Tamara is currently the ADSS Program Manager at New Progressions. She is also a member of several professional organizations throughout the Atlanta Area.

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Willie Hopkins, BS, PP - Community Liaison/ Office Manager

Willie E. Hopkins, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Fayetteville State University in 1991. He began his law enforcement career in 1991 and moved to Georgia in 1998 to continue in the Criminal Justice System. He joined the DeKalb County State Court Probation Department on February 8, 1999, and retired as the Chief Adult Probation Officer on December 31, 2023.

He holds various certifications, including Peace Officer Standing and Training General Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, and Crisis Intervention Officer (CIT). He is a member of multiple professional organizations, such as the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). He also served as the Misdemeanor Commissioner for the Georgia Professional Association of Community Supervision (GPACS).

Hopkins is actively involved in his community as a dedicated Shareholder of Global Impact Christian Ministry, leader of the Deacons Ministry, Mainstreet Advisor Board Chairman for Stockbridge, GA, and a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He lives by the core values of integrity, loyalty, dedication, and commitment to excellence.

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Shalise Benjamin, AA, PP - Human Resource Manager

With a rich background in Merchandise Marketing, Shalise Benjamin embarked on a journey from Sacramento, California, to Atlanta, Georgia as motivational speaker with years of business development fostering strategies to grow and sustain companies' fiscal performance. Her initial visit to Georgia turned into a permanent relocation, captivated by the charm and opportunities the vibrant city offered.


Driven by her passion for people and organizational development, Shalise is relentless in her pursuit of excellence. She is known as a consultant in marketing, sales, profits, and partnerships. Through her leadership, she endeavors to create an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and inspired to contribute their best.


As a Human Resource Manager, Shalise's vision is rooted in the belief that a strong HR foundation is pivotal to unlocking the full potential of any organization. She is a visionary HR leader, dedicated to driving strategic growth and fostering a culture of excellence at New Progressions LLC. With her passion, expertise, and unwavering commitment to success, she is poised to lead the organization towards a future filled with limitless possibilities. 

Meet Our Team in Mississipi

Dr. Maxie Gordon - Psychologist

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 - 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 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 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

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.

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