Communities are like a jigsaw puzzle. It could have ten pieces or one thousand pieces. When placed perfectly together, they form a beautiful image. Humans do not realize their power until they are empowered. Often, the biggest fight is within oneself. Doubt, fear, and lack of self-worth are detrimental to achieving one’s fullest potential. Dr. Anthony “Tony” Haire has devoted his life to looking at the internal gift of all those he encounters along his journey in life. “Exposure to external stimuli exposes self-discipline,” says the mental health professional and Fayetteville native.
Haire grew up on Murchison Road and is a proud graduate of Fayetteville State University. His outward appearance is a man of means. Beyond the tailored suit lies a man that remembers waking up to rats nibbling on his ears as he slept in his family’s Washington Drive home. The home was filled with the love of parents that believed highly in education. After graduating from high school, Tony looked forward to attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro. However, a reality check from his father led him to enroll in Fayetteville State University. During his first year, he had excellent grades and was named to the Chancellor’s List. With his father’s blessing, he transferred to NC A&T. However, his grades took a hit and he returned to Fayetteville State to complete his Criminal Justice degree. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Haire went on to continue his education, receiving a master’s degree and a Doctorate.
Even after completing the highest level of degrees, he continued to learn and grow, personally and professionally. Haire joined the John Maxwell team. Dr. John C. Maxwell is a New York Times bestselling author that has trained numerous leaders throughout the world. Dr. Maxwell has worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the United Nations. Through the John Maxwell Team, Haire became a certified Leadership Development Trainer, Speaker, and Coach. In addition to mental health services, the YouthMax program encourages youth to help themselves and others. One of the principal goals of the YouthMax program is learning to “fail forward to success.” Dr. Haire turned his failures into successes with the help of God. He fondly remembers standing on the balcony of his Durham luxury apartment and accepting Christ into his life. It was a life-changing moment for the then-teacher.
His Murchison Road background gave him a firsthand account of the mental health issues that plague the youth in impoverished areas. Coupled with his education, Haire developed the Community Re-Entry Program (C-REP) to bridge the gap between youth and families. C-REP utilizes Multisystemic Therapy, a combination of family and home-based treatment. The MST approach is a method that presents the individual, family, peers, schools, and neighborhood as an interconnected network of systems. Haire’s foundation of faith helps him to bring out the good in the youth that enters his program. However, the entrepreneur believes in putting the same time and investment into the community that raised him.
Though he has grown through life experience, he never forgets where he came from and continuously works to build up the people around him. Haire keeps his “ear to the streets'.” The behavioral health specialist founded Way2Real Entertainment to allow independent artists to achieve mainstream success. Haire enlisted the help of legendary nightclub owners The Clark Family and music industry mogul International Special to push artists like Mr. Red Carpet and I Am Southeast to the masses.
With hit songs like “Oh Ok” by Mr. Red Carpet, Way 2 Real is looking to become the standard for artist development in the region. Way2Real is more than a record label, it is a brand. Haire and his team will be erecting a brick-and-mortar building that will house community and artist development resources. For more information and updates on Way2Real, follow them on Instagram, @way2real_kings. Salute to Dr. Haire and every activist getting active. Peace.
For more content from Rakeem "Keem" Jones, log on to www.keemjonescontent.com.