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IMPACT Grant Candidate Spotlight

Read about a new candidate for this grant each month. Discover what motivates them to enter this field and the passion they bring to become a licensed school counselor.

The School Counseling Department received a Mental Health Professional Services grant award in the amount of 4.8 million dollars in April 2023. This grant aims to train school counselors to work in Tennessee public schools.

Tia Medley
"Being in the classroom for 13 years taught me to never assume a student has it all together, or that their problems are not significant. While high school can be a great experience, it can also be a very stressful time for students as they are figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. I hope to take all my knowledge and experiences from this program and use it to help empower students to truly believe that they are capable of anything they set their minds to." — Tia Medley

Tia Medley works for Smith County High School as a job embedded Professional School Counselor. She has a degree in secondary English and licenses in instructional coaching and educational administration. Outside of work, Tia loves running and exercising. She spends time watching her two boys play football, baseball, and basketball. Tia chose school counseling because she felt that she needed a change in her career after being in the classroom for 13 years. She knew she did not want to leave education, but she wanted to find a new avenue to build relationships with students. One of her favorite aspects of teaching was building relationships, so she saw counseling as the most “natural” next step.

Before finding this grant program Tia struggled with the thought of paying for another degree and putting that financial burden on my family; however, through Lipsomb’s grant, she is able to finish her counseling degree without that worry. Tia has also formed an alliance of friends through the school counseling program. Her peer groups have been able to collaborate about issues across school systems. Tia emphasized the ability to discuss current trends, issues, and to share ideas with one another.