“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

-Theodore Roosevelt


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Martina Dailey, LICSW

Founder & Executive Director

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker 
  • Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama
  • Bachelor of Social Work from UAB; Associates in Applied Sciences degree from Lawson State Community College Birmingham
  • Graduate of the Operation Hope Entrepreneurial Training Program
  • Generalist social worker with professional experience in various sectors of the social work profession, including Therapeutic Foster Care, Adolescence substance use, Nephrology and women substance use
  • Martina’s desire to open and operate New Awakening is birthed out of seeing a need in the community, her family’s generational history of addiction and personal trauma that she has experienced
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CIara Mitchell, PhD, MA, RDN

Board Vice President/


  • Registered BioNutrition Research Dietitian 
  • Doctor of Philosophy Degree in health education and  promotion with a concentration in nutrition
  • Master of Arts degree in health studies at University of Alabama; Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Alabama
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ashley M. Stringer, LICSW, PIP

BOARD secretary

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
  • Master of Social Work degree from the University of Alabama; Bachelor of Social Work degree  from UAB
  • Over 9 years experience in the social service field, specializing in mental & behavioral health, foster families and trauma informed care
  • Has served as a field instructor throughout her social work career and is passionate about shaping the next generation of social workers
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Marjorie Thomas

Board Member

  • Bachelor of Science Degree with a Minor in Management from Troy University Montgomery
  •  Diverse professional working experience across roles at the State of Alabama Medicaid Agency, the Department of Human Resources, the Administrative Office of Courts, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Health, which deepened awareness into the needs and well-being of community members
  • Currently involved in volunteer efforts within her local community, actively participating in the distribution of food and clothing to vulnerable individuals 
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Jean McCrady, PhD

Board Member, Ex-officio

  • She acquired business education at North Alabama College of Commerce in Huntsville
  • She later obtained an AA degree, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Sociology, & a PhD in Leadership & Human Behavior
  • Has started and managed a number of businesses, including manufacturing, business barter exchange services, ostrich farming, recreational real estate business development, and other enterprises 
  • Since 1958, she has devoted considerable time to community volunteer services, as a founding board member of several organizations, serving as President or Chairman of local, state, regional, and national organizations
  • Currently she chairs the board CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound) in Marshall County
  • Currently serves as a volunteer business coach at the Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship
  • She commenced competitive racing at age 82, and has accumulated 14 state age records, ranging from one mile to 10k distances 
  • Her most recent record (in  Fall of 2022), was for the 5k distance at age 89
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James Venable

Board Member

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Degree from Marshall University
  • Retired Human Resources Professional
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Member
  • Supports initiatives that promote community and self-worth
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Yakima Burch, LPC

Director of Mentoring

  • Obtained her undergraduate degree in criminal justice at Alabama State University 
  • Later pursued a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice/Public Safety at Auburn University at Montgomery 
  • Obtained her Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree at Troy State University in Montgomery
  • Founder of F.E.E.L. Counseling & Wellness Services
  • She enjoys traveling, spending time with her fur baby, and trying new cooking recipes
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Judge Maria fortune

Court liaison

  • Received her B.S. from the University of Northern Colorado and Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of law
  • Serves as a District Judge in the criminal division
  • Prior to taking the bench, she had her own law practice, specializing in a variety of areas of law
  • Previously served the citizens of Jefferson County as a Special Circuit Court Judge in Family and Criminal Court
  • Member of the Alabama State Bar, Colorado State Bar, Washington DC State Bar, the Women’s Lawyers Section, and the Criminal Justice Section of the Birmingham Bar Association
  • Currently the presiding Judge for the Drug Court program in Jefferson County, Birmingham Division
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Doris Barren

Parenting Program Facilitator

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management
  • Author of ‘Change Your Mindset/Save Your Child: Saving Our Children by Healing Ourselves‘, along with its companion guide ‘Change Your Mindset/Save Your Child: My Mindset-Transformation Guide
  • Working with and advocating for our young is a lifelong passion; this began with her own three daughters
  • Organizations Doris has work with for youth include the Campfire Program (formerly Campfire Girls), the Boys Scouts Explorer Program, Juniors Achievement’s Business and Career Readiness Program (aimed at Middle School students), and Vacation Bible School at her Church
  • Currently a Professional Development Specialist with Imagine Learning, a developer of award-winning digital language, literacy, and math programs used by K-12 students across the nation
  • Member of the Tutoring Program at her church where she helps students from elementary through high school
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Gwarmekia Sturdivant

Resource Development Specialist

  • Certified Mental Health Coach through Light University
  • Author of 10 inspirational and motivational books, including I’m Not Kissing the FrogsAltar Call, & Colors, Shapes and Sizes
  • She is driven by her passion to be a vessel for God’s use as she mentors and motivates youth and young women
  • She has previous volunteer experience as a Bible school teacher and reading to children at the Boys & Girls Club
  • Her goals are to reach teen girls and young adults by giving them honest feedback from life challenges and helping them learn from those challenges and experiences
Cynthia Ward

Cynthia Ward

spiritual life coach

  • Bachelor of Science in Education from Tuskegee University
  • Master of Education from The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • She has a calling to inspire, uplift, encourage and serve others
  • She has inspired others through teaching, volunteering, acting and playwriting
  • Author of a children’s book, titled “God Hears Me”
  • She has a parenting program called “Parenting on Purpose” 
  • Certified Birth Doula
  • Currently a Parent and Childbirth Educator with Birmingham Healthy Start Plus, Inc.
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Jennifer voshake

arts & activities coordinator 

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in International Studies from Auburn University
  • Over 25 years of professional experience in the IT industry and is currently one of the Technical Managers for a world-leading IT company
  • Discovered a lifelong passion for decorating, marketing, and artistic creations from a young age, nurturing it into a career focused on innovative and creative events & planning
  • Owner of Anything Goes Celebrations, offering creative services, including expertise in logos, face painting, monograms, business cards, flyers, digital advertisements, customized invitations, cost-effective party planning, graphic designs, catalogs, and special event décor 
  • A compassionate recovery supporter, dedicated to using art and service to make a positive impact on the lives of community members

Evangelist Barbara Ross

Peer mentor

  • Is the founder of a ministry: Faith, Fashion, and Finance; the Owner of Unique Boutique 
  • Is a licensed and ordained minister and a teacher and preacher of the Gospel
  • Has over 20 years of recovery
  • Has volunteer experience of with speaking at various women’s shelters, offering hope, encouragement and motivation to members of the community
  • Author of “The Presence of Peace”
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Samantha Houston

Peer Mentor

  • Certified Recovery Support Specialist
  • Over 4 years in recovery
  • Recovery advocate, peer mentor, and peer innovator
  • Actively supports the local recovery community, participating in initiatives and outreach programs to raise awareness about recovery and reduce stigma
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Danielle Square, BSN, RN


  • Over 10 years of nursing experience
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Jacksonville State University
  • Graduated from Wallace Community College Selma with her Licensed Practical of Nursing in 2010 and Associate Degree in Nursing from Wallace Community College Selma in 2015
  • She has worked in the nursing homes and hospitals in the Black Belt area caring for the community
  • Now she serves as the Director of Nursing at Montgomery Women’s Facility in Montgomery, AL