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VOL. 132 | NO. 113 | Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Seay Leading Raleigh UPP In Parental Coaching Efforts

By Kate Simone

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The ACE Awareness Foundation’s fourth Universal Parenting Place recently opened at Christ Community Health Services in Raleigh, with Tara Seay serving as site director/parenting coach. Seay is a licensed professional counselor–mental health service provider.
In her new role at the Raleigh UPP, she’ll provide parents and caregivers with individual therapy and give clinical insight in group therapy programs. In addition, she will develop new programs over time to cater to the needs of the population that we serve in the Raleigh area.

Hometown: I was born and raised in the great city of Memphis.

Experience: I’ve focused my career on understanding individuals and families. I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with concentration in pre-law from LeMoyne-Owen College and a master’s degree in mental health counseling, specializing in marriage and family, crisis management, substance abuse and forensic counseling.
Before UPP, I was a clinical supervisor with the Youth Villages Intercept program, where I was instrumental in managing and developing the clinical team to provide in-home services to families of children who were at risk of being taken out of the home.
I most recently worked with Lakeside Behavioral Health, a local mental health hospital, as an assessor. Here I assessed patients who were experiencing a mental health crisis and helped to determine the best treatment options for the patient, whether it be inpatient, outpatient or a community referral.

What talent do you wish you had?
With an upbringing rich in music, I have always had a desire to play an instrument. After several failed attempts at several instruments, I determined that I should just stick to singing. 

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why?
This is tough, as I am the product of a village raising me, but if I had to choose I would say my mother. My parents separated when I was about 4 years old. My mother had great determination and Christian spirit that allowed her to finish nursing school while caring for my brother and I. She endured a lot of physical, emotional and financial challenges, but she always ensured that we were well taken care of. She did all of this with a sweet demeanor and always gave to other family members whatever she had. 

For our readers who might not know about Universal Parenting Places, could you explain a little about the overarching services and goals?
UPP sites offer parents and caregivers no-cost, judgment-free parenting support to help them navigate difficult situations. UPP sites are dedicated to delivering practical information, guidance and emotional support for family-related issues or concerns, no matter how large or small. We provide a variety of services and supports for early intervention to stop and mitigate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) before they can have a lasting impact on children. 
We offer everything from one-on-one counseling to our fabulous alternative group therapies that engage whole families, like Family Drum Circles, Mindful Motion and Zumba.

Why was Raleigh chosen for the newest UPP location?
Having an UPP in Raleigh provides easier access for many parents and caregivers who need help navigating stressful family situations. There are now four UPP sites available to families across Memphis. I think the ACE Awareness Foundation would tell you they fell in love with the idea of having an UPP site at Christ Community Health Systems when they found they shared a vision with the leadership at Christ Community and saw the amazing space available to us here to serve the community on site. 

The Raleigh UPP is partnering with Lifeline to Success and Family Matters to focus on building strong father figures in the community. What strategies/programs are you implementing through the partnership?
Currently we are embarking on beginning our very first Fatherhood Institute, which is a support group for men to re-establish their voice in their family. This group will be a judgment-free class that teaches fathers everything from what to do when their significant other is expecting to how to get involved when you may been absent up to this point. It is never too late to be a father.
Lifeline to Success is a group of community members who have at some point found themselves on the wrong side of the law, and are now trying to be better community members. Family Matters is a program that focuses on several aspects of rebuilding the family, as well as assisting men in navigating the Juvenile Court system.
Currently the first Fatherhood Institute is closed to members of the Lifeline to Success and Family Matters participants, but we hope to open it up publicly soon.
I choose to focus on fathers first because men are the backbone to a solid foundation in a child’s life. Their absence contributes to high ACEs in the life of a child. I hope to offer them the support and confidence necessary to remain involved or get back involved with their families.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
I think my greatest accomplishment is being a young mother. I can tell you that I have had a lot of education and training. When I was pregnant, I read everything and watched every educational programming there was on parenting. That helped me in the role I have today and made me realize no two situations are ever the same when it comes to parenting. I also have overcome several obstacles, but with the loving support of family and friends and a strong faith in God, I believe I can succeed in anything if given the opportunity.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
I love everything about my work. I love being someone people can express themselves to with no judgment. They don’t have to ask me to pinky promise that I will keep it a secret – it’s my job. The look of relief people have when they leave my office is the most rewarding feeling. I love supporting them through rough times. Life is hard, and I like letting know that they are not alone in this battle.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be?
I would encourage every young person to never give up. If you have breath in your body, that means you are here for a reason and a purpose. There is nothing that can stop you from accomplishing your dreams but yourself. 


Along with Seay, Brittany Hart has joined the Universal Parenting Place at Christ Community Health Services as hospitality & community liaison coordinator. Hart graduated from the University of Memphis in 2010 with a psychology degree, and she previously worked at Youth Villages as well as The John Dustin Buckman Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis. 

Attorney Matthew P. Gabriel has been named a director of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston P.C. Gabriel joined Martin Tate in 2010. He focuses his law practice in the areas of commercial transactions and corporate law, including commercial real estate, commercial lending, commercial leasing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate formation, and general corporate law. 

Baker Donelson has elected 13 new shareholders across the firm, including two attorneys Julia M. Kavanagh and Matthew S. Mulqueen of its Memphis office. Kavanagh is a member of Baker Donelson’s Health Care Litigation Group and regularly represents hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care providers in professional negligence lawsuits. Mulqueen, a member of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Group, represents financial institutions, health care providers, businesses, public entities and individuals in various matters involving contract disputes, commercial torts, employment disputes and other legal actions.

Christa Phillips has been awarded the Excellence in STEM Teaching Award by the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. Phillips is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teacher at Houston High School, the lead STEM teacher for Germantown Municipal School District and a lead teacher in the West TN STEM Innovation Hub’s Master Teacher Corps. 

Memphis video production company Running Pony has won five awards in the 38th annual Telly Awards. The awards were for videos produced for the National Civil Rights Museum, Neighborhood Preservation Inc. and City Auto, and for animated videos created for ServiceMaster and EdR.

Lehman-Roberts Co. recently received three awards for road projects completed in 2016. The honors include the 2016 Region 4 Smooth Ride Award from the Tennessee Department of Transportation for resurfacing work completed on Interstate 40; the Mississippi’s Best Thin Lift Overlay Award from the Mississippi Department of Transportation for Miss. Route 17 in Carroll County; and the 2016 Safety Culture Award from the Tennessee chapter of Associated General Contractors.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270