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About Us

Single Mom Strong's mission is to empower single mothers and their children through enrichment, encouragement and educational programs.

​Through access to support systems, career advancement resources and innovative childcare solutions, Single Mom Strong dismantles the greatest barriers to single mothers’ success and ensures the health of our families. We empower single-parent families, improving outcomes by:

Fostering connection: Having little to no support, the community aspect of SMS is one of the most important to single moms. Our members find comfort in bonds built on their common experience. 

Increasing self-sufficiency and economic stability: our Career Advacement tools, from workshops to Pre-Employment Coaching and our free Career Clothing Closet, directly influence career success.

Overcoming the barrier of inaccessible childcare:  EmpowerME Preschool & Childcare programs make quality preschool accessible by making it affordable, even on a single-income budget.  Full-day childcare is also offered to school-age children during school breaks and closures.

Meet Our Board

Essence Hill

Secretary and Treasurer

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Tara Taylor

Founder and Executive Director

Megan Huber


Candy Wright

Vice President

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Gina Richardson


Alex Trujillo

Director of Fundraising

Barbara Urbani


Amber Connors

Marketing Director

Tara Taylor, Founder

As a coach, speaker and the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Single Mom Strong, Tara Taylor demonstrates her passion for empowering and motivating women daily.

After beginning her career in property management, Tara opened her own property management company at the age of twenty-nine, as a single mother with a young daughter and a mortgage.  Concurrently, she became co-owner of a security company, and eventually went on to operate one of the largest security dealerships in the nation for several years. 

Inspired by her experience raising her daughter and her career success, and motivated by her conviction that anything can be accomplished with effort and determination, Tara switched gears and found her purpose in creating and building Single Mom Strong, a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower and create community for single mothers and their children, through enrichment, encouragement and educational programs.  In less than seven years, she has led Single Mom Strong to become a community of over 1,000 local single mothers, while also incorporating quality, affordable preschool and childcare in multiple locations and free Career Advancement programming. Meanwhile, Tara continues to grow as a leader: completing Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Leadership Sacramento program in 2019 and being recognized as a “Woman Who Means Business” by the Sacramento Business Journal in 2020.   


Meghan Huber, President

Meghan Huber is the Economic Development and Community Engagement Director for the City of Citrus Heights. Meghan brings over 15 years of public and private sector experience in economic development, business development, communications, and marketing. She leads Economic Development, Communications, Community Engagement, Legislative, Government Affairs, and Grants Strategy for Citrus Heights. Meghan holds a Certified Economic Developer designation from International Economic Development Council and was recently honored as one of Sacramento’s “40 under 40” by Sacramento Business Journal.

Meghan has served on the board of directors of Single Mom Strong since 2019 and as President since 2020. Meghan knows the economic development success of the Sacramento region is inextricably linked to the health and wellbeing of moms and families. She is a fierce advocate of Single Mom Strong’s model that creates outcomes to advance regional competitiveness and prosperity, one family at a time.

Candy Wright, Vice-President

Candy Wright is a Vice President in Corporate Risk at Wells Fargo. She began her career in banking 25 years ago, and has since worked in residential and commercial lending as well as compliance and audit. She was born and raised in southeastern Louisiana, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of New Orleans.

Growing up in the household of a single mom imparted Candy with firsthand knowledge of the struggles single parents and their children regularly face. She understands the financial hardships and the logistical challenges that frequently surface when one parent is responsible for doing the work of two. Candy’s goal is to help ease the burden placed on single moms, so they can spend more quality time with their children.

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Essence Hill, Secretary-Treasurer

Essence is a generalist, marketing and communications professional, small business consultant, photographer, event coordinator, NELP (Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program) Class XII graduate and a well-known, engaged community leader. Essence strengthens community ties by serving on the board of Single Mom Strong; being raised in a single parent household, she understands the need for support services and community engagement for moms. She is a former Team Giving board member and served as the Event Director for the 2020 Women on Boards National Conversation on Board Diversity in Sacramento. She has been a featured speaker for the 916 Ink, American Marketing Association, Goodwill Industries, American River Bank and has spoken on the William Jessup Business Leaders Panel. She has assisted the underserved as a former associate board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento and is the creator of Handbags for the Homeless. Essence shares her passion for living her absolute best life by motivating others to be the best versions of themselves. She has hosted workshops at the Sacramento Women’s Expo on The Power of Saying No and in her free time she enjoys traveling, the beach, outdoor adventures, and dancing. 

Amber Connors, Director

Amber Connors resides in Roseville with her two teenage sons and husband Jim. She has over 25 years of IT experience, with 15 years focused on the electric utility industry with SMUD.  She is currently the IT Director of SMUD’s Customer and Grid Operation Technology Center, leading SMUD’s efforts to deliver industry-leading initiatives and operational technologies to achieve SMUD’s 2030 Clean Energy Vision.  Amber holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration / Accounting and earned her MBA in Management Information Systems from CSU Chico. She is PMP and Scrum certified, has a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University and has completed the Prosci Change Management Certification. In addition, Amber served as Secretary for Roseville Youth Soccer Club from 2020-2022.


Amber began serving on the Board of Directors in 2023 and is excited to be part of Single Mom Strong's journey, serving strong women and our future generations!

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Gina Richardson, Director of Marketing 

Gina 'RichE' Richardson is a dynamic and spirited speaker, deliberate and Certified Financial Educator, Coach, and influential thought leader, celebrated for her empathetic nature and innate ability to connect with diverse audiences.

Gina has over 16 years of hands-on experience and expertise in the corporate financial sector, specializing in her engaging financially educational workshops and guiding individuals through coaching. Gina is widely recognized as a trusted subject matter expert in the financial industry, sought after for her profound insights and engaging speaking engagements.

Alex Trujillo, Director of Fundraising

Alex Trujillo is a dedicated father of a brilliant and beautiful daughter, Ella. He's extremely passionate about his career as a Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, where he supports business owners and their teams, and has been awarded numerous community and client growth awards as a result. Alex’s heart for community has led him to find creative and innovative ways to support – whether through hands-on service, fundraising or board leadership. He is known as a champion of others, dedicating many hours to teaching and finding ways to inspire and encourage people to become better versions of themselves.

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Barbara Urbani, Director

Barbara Urbani is the Director of Marketing and Administration at DCA Partners, where she is responsible for office administration, marketing, branding, events, and public relations. She has a passion for education and team collaboration and previously worked as a Firm Administrator and Marketing Manager at the Trainor Fairbrook law firm. Barbara has experience in marketing and operations in both commercial and residential real estate. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from San Francisco State University.


As a board member, she plays a vital role in providing support and resources to single mothers in Sacramento who may be facing financial or emotional challenges. Barbara's personal experience as a single mother gives her a unique perspective that allows her to connect with and empower other single mothers. By sharing her own struggles and triumphs, she is able to provide a sense of hope and encouragement to those who may be feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. Her dedication to this cause is a testament to her unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in the world around her.

Tara's Story

I was married young and left my ex-husband when my daughter, Desiree’, was six-months old. He did not contribute financially and chose not to have an active role in her life, but I was determined to raise her on my own and ensure she had every opportunity a child deserved.  I put my head down and went to work.  Hard. 

The only time I ever tried to receive aid of any kind, I was turned down.  The program was a childcare subsidy that paid about half of childcare expenses, based on income.  I had been advancing quickly in my career, and was making enough to survive, but nowhere near enough for a woman and child to flourish on their own.  I was told I made $27 per month too much to qualify for the subsidy.  $27.  In that moment I wanted to ask for a pay REDUCTION.  But that became further motivation. 

My career was in property management, and after holding a real estate license for four years, I decided that rather than renew it, I would push forward and obtain a Real Estate Broker’s license.  After putting Desiree’ to bed each night, I studied for three hours, eventually completing all of the coursework and took the exam.  I passed on the first try.  I ultimately obtained my Associate's Degree the same way.  Meanwhile, a Real Estate Broker’s license enabled me to venture out on my own, and I started my first company at 29 years old, as a single mother, with a mortgage and no reserves.  My belief in myself, and my desire to be present for my daughter meant I just couldn't fail. 

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Working for myself provided flexibility, and with flexibility came dance classes and soccer camps for Desiree’. She grew a love for soccer that lasts to this day. I made good on my vow to provide everything a child in a dual-parent household would receive, and she began competitive soccer at age 11.  Because of the costs and travel requirements, I was almost always the only single mom at those games, but it paid off: Desiree’ went on to have her first two years of college paid for with a soccer scholarship and she is now incorporating her love of the game into her career in phyical fitness.

I have achieved many things in this life that people associate with “success”, but my greatest achievement is raising my daughter on my own.  The best compliment a parent can ever receive came often in those days, as I was constantly told how well-mannered and kind Desiree is and I watched her be welcomed into so many circles. Now an adult, I continue to be amazed by her daily...


And that is why we are here.  I am not glorifying being a single mom.  It is hard.  It is by far the hardest thing I have done or will ever do.  But, I am saying that you and your children have choices.  Being a single parent or the child of a single parent does not diminish them.  I choose to believe the contrary, that being “single mom strong”, having grit and determination and refusing to fail, does not have to be detrimental at all.

My motto: "believe and achieve." With confidence and commitment, you are capable of anything, mama. 

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