New faces at the Roots

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Hey there...

We have some new faces on our volunteer team here at the Roots!  We'd like to introduce you to a few of the peer leaders starting up in our free groups this September. These leaders are going to make our groups more welcoming and enriching. We hope you join us!


Michelle Buckley

Cruisers & Crawlers
peer leader
Mondays 10am-12pm

Michelle is a first time mom of a now 13 month old boy named “Frankie”. Prior to becoming a mother she worked as a medical speech-language pathologist at Florida Hospital Tampa. She moved her with her husband 10 years ago after completely graduate school to be closer to his family. She is originally from Michigan. We are excited to have Michelle at the Roots!


Tabatha Ruiz 

Preschoolers Playgroup
peer leader
Wednesdays 12pm-2pm

I’m a stay at home/homeschooling mom of two. Tulip who is 6 and Finnley is 3. I was born in Peru, raised in Miami and moved to Dallas where I met my husband 10 years ago, and where I had Tulip. Her birth wasn’t what I was expecting, which led me to do more research and educate myself. We moved to Tampa 6 years ago and I was able to have Finnley at home(my hbac baby) with Barefoot Birth, Charlie as my midwife and Brandi as my doula. Breastfeeding became a huge passion to me, I became licensed to be able to help other moms because I feel I can identify and understand their struggles. Besides that, house plants are my new found hobby. I love sharing this passion with my kids too. Going to local plant shops, watching new leaves unfurl, repotting plants is our favorite thing. Oh and we have a cat, his name changes but for now he is Oliver. 


Vanessa Kekuewa

New Moms Group
peer leader
Thursdays 10am-12pm

After standing behind the chair as a hairstylist for over 10 years Vanessa has recently become trained through Barefoot Birth as a Doula and is excited to pursue birth work as her new passion and career path. She is married to her high school sweetheart, has a two year old daughter and is expecting a baby boy in January. Vanessa’s inspiration and desire to become involved in birth and maternal work, like many, was brought on by her own birth experience. She has a strong desire to step away from being a day maker with hair to potentially being a life maker while supporting and empowering women to rise to their strongest potential through emotional, physical and educational support. Vanessa is currently working on Hypnobabies Hypnobirth certification and is pursuing a Doula certification and lactation specialist training in the next year. Vanessa does not fall short of passion when it comes to supporting women in any way she can and we are happy to introduce her to the CRC fam!