A licensed Master Social Worker in both clinical and macro specialty, Sarah has worked as a facilitator, counselor and advocate for families in a variety of settings, including schools, residential facilities, in-home and clinics, locally and abroad. Sarah strives to develop community organization through her work with non-profits. She has served as the Trainings and Technical Assistance Chair for the Michigan Network For Youth and Families’ board and served on the Community Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Maternal and Child Health Training Program.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for South Oakland Shelter as well as on her local AAUP union as a member of the Academic Staff Steering Committee. After being an active member of the Wayne State University School of Social Work Alumni Board, Sarah joined the School of Social Work as an Advisor for the Master’s program. She is currently completing a certificate in Maternal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International. As a new mom, she hopes to instill a sense of support and provide resources for moms within her community.
Juliana Schewe, E-RYT, RPYT, YACEP, Certified MUTU Pro, Dancing for Birth™ Instructor, Zumbini®, Director of Fitness & Education
Juliana is a trained Anusara-Inspired Yoga teacher whose playful and creative classes weave together metaphor, philosophy and principles of alignment. Her classes are infused with her effervescent personality and encouraging nature. As a visual artist and belly dancer, Juliana was drawn to yoga as a means of harnessing her creative energy, to alleviate stress and to deepen her awareness of the anatomy and movement of the body. She specializes in prenatal and postnatal yoga and movement. She completed her prenatal yoga training through Mindful Mamas and she most recently completed her MUTU Pro Training, as she wants the mamas and mamas-to-be in her classes to be supported fully.
She has been belly dancing for 19 years and belly danced throughout her entire first and second pregnancies as well as through first stage labor. She has masters degrees in Fine Arts as well as in Art Education and currently works in public education. Yoga, belly dance and art are a way of life for Juliana. As a mother, she is committed to living her life with compassion and awareness, in order to create a strong foundation for her family and the global community to flourish.
Tessa Benziner, RYT, RPYT, Yoga Teacher
Tessa Benziger is a registered yoga teacher and a master’s level social worker and therapist. She is passionate about helping children and adults alike connect with their own source of peace and strength through yoga, breath, meditation, and empowerment-based counseling. She is a Certified Trauma Specialist through the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, and has completed her prenatal certification through Mindful Mamas. She is the mother of three wild and beautiful children, and practices mindfulness daily to help manage her sleep-deprived, stain-covered, love-filled life.
Cortney Bugar, Infant Massage Instructor
Cortney is trained in Infant Massage though Infant Massage USA. She is also working towards certification in an evidenced based intervention, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, for short. Full time, Cortney is the Quality Supervisor for Starfish Family Services in Wayne County. Cortney graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work in 2004 and a Masters of Social Work in 2005 from Eastern Michigan University. When not working, Cortney enjoys spending time with her lovely, strong spirited daughters.
Angela Chatzopoulos, Fitness Instructor & Drop in Play Facilitator
Angela is a trained Fit4mom instructor. She previously taught Pre-K through 8th grade math special Education, but always had a passion for fitness and nutrition. Her classes are perfect for moms with babies in strollers, babies in carriers or pregnant mamas. She decided to teach fitness classes when she went on maternity leave with her second son and wanted to continue working out, but not have to leave him in a gym daycare. The classes are interactive for the children and incorporate the stroller as well. The exercises can be modified for every mama depending on where they are in their stage of fitness. She has masters degrees in Biology as well as in Education and currently works as an independent consultant with Arbonne and a fitness instructor. Fitness and nutrition are extremely important to Angela and she feels as though the earlier children see the importance the better. Children learn from what they see and are exposed to consistently. Exercise has been shown to help in many aspects and being able to share the time with your little ones while fulfilling your needs is perfect.
Carrie Conrad, Self Defense and Safety Specialist
Carrie Conrad is a dedicated self defense and safety specialist and lead instructor for Beating Disaster, a specialty school offering relevant and respectful self defense and safety training. Though her journey began almost 20 years ago in martial arts she has a background in violence prevention, communication and even bodyguard training – among other safety related topics.
Unfortunate life experience is what led her passion for training others in karate to evolve into an obsession and then profession of empowering women and children through self defense training and safety training. She is committed to helping families and individuals stay safe in real-life situations - whether in their home, at school or work, or on the street. Defense, especially in relation to domestic violence or abuse, addiction or alcoholism, and mental health issues is a pertinent and distinguishing focus.
Though she still enjoys teaching Kenpo karate, most of her time is spent presenting to small groups or at conferences, providing hands on self defense training, or giving private instruction for families with specific safety related concerns.
Jennifer Day, IBCLC, CLS, CLE, In-Home Lactation Support
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Founder and Owner of Feed the Babes, LLC offers in-home and clinic based, skilled breastfeeding support services. Jennifer also serves as the Michigan Breastfeeding Network (MIBFN) 310 Connect Project Manager. Additionally, she acts as Chairperson of the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition and facilitator of an incredibly successful Breastfeeding Support Group entitled “Meet, Nurse, Love” in Oakland County, MI. The married mother of two happy, healthy, breastfed children endeavors to bring best practices to mothers while equitably educating the public, in an effort to create breastfeeding positive spaces. She is an accomplished public speaker both locally and nationally, an advocate and educator with thousands of hours of experience in assisting and supporting pregnant and lactating family's in clinical and in-home settings.
Jenn D'Jamoos, Evidence Based Birth® instructor and Certified Health Coach
Jenn D’Jamoos is a Certified Childbirth Educator (CAPPA), Evidence Based Birth® instructor and Certified Health Coach (Dr. Sears Wellness Institute). She has been educating since 2010 and has extensive experience teaching adults in both group and private settings. Jenn has taken an advanced training on how to help families get evidence based care and additional training on a variety of other topics and skills relevant to maternity care. She founded the Livingston County Birth Circle in 2013 to support local families through the childbearing and childrearing years by providing monthly meetings that feature birth related topics. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Brighton, MI. Jenn is passionate about fostering informed decision making and patient autonomy and strives to ensure that all birthing people have a positive birth experience.
Jessica Duffy, Hypnobirthing Instructor
JessDuffy (Inspired yoga Plus, LLC) is a Certified Prenatal Yoga and Hypnobirthing Instructor. Participating in Prenatal Yoga classes in 2014-2017 invited in a great deal of introspection, community, and childbirth education. It inspired her to complete Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 with Sweet Momma Yoga in Bloomfield Hills. She obtained her certification as a Hypnobirthing Instructor through The Calm Birth School in 2020. Birthers deserve every opportunity to achieve a calm and positive birthing experience. Jess is excited to share her story, to hear yours, and support womxn at this incredible time in their lives.
Ashley Gammon, CPT, Mutu Pro™, Fitness Instructor
Ashley Gammon, CPT, Mutu Pro™. Ashley studied with American Council on Exercise to become certified as a personal trainer. She was also one of the first of 33 to be certified as a Mutu Pro™ by founder of Mutu System® Wendy Powell. This is a globally recognized, medically endorsed program designed specially for the postpartum body. Ashley is very passionate about teaching and educating women on how to ease their postartum body back into into fitness. So if you are looking to strengthen your core and pelvic floor and get fit + strong + body confident Ashley is your girl! The method she teaches can and will help with a diastasis recti, leaking, incontinence, alleviating lower back pain, the baby pooch and most of all gaining confidence in your new postpartum body. Ashley is a military wife and mother to three girls. She was a MuTu mama herself before she became a MuTu Pro. She truly believes that every woman, especially one who has had a child should know and do MuTu, and most importantly it is NEVER too late!
Amy Kaltz, Instructor
Amy has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Language Arts and a master’s degree in Special Education with an endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Oakland University. As well as long term substitute positions in various districts and special education classrooms Amy taught for five years in an elementary classroom for students with Autism. Since taking time off from being in the classroom full time, she has started tutoring, sharing her love of literacy by selling Usborne books, become a babywearing educator with Babywearing International, and a certified instructor with Baby Signing Time. She loves watching children learn or experience something new and is excited to be teaching again. On top of beginning to teach classes here, Amy is happy to talk with caregivers of children with special needs about anything they may need help with.
Tanja is a Usui/Holy Fire and Karuna Reiki Master Teacher and Sacred Childbirth with Reiki practitioner who has studied all levels of Reiki with William Rand, Founder of the International Center for Reiki. A Certified Reflexologist with over 250 hours of reflexology training, she has also studied Clinical Aromatherapy, Healing Touch, Polarity Therapy, Herbalism, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). After over a decade as a freelance writer and university instructor, she embarked on a full-time journey of uncovering peace, joy, and vibrant living as a Holistic Well Being Coach and Energy Medicine Practitioner. She is mother to two adventurous daughters and a beautiful baby son, and brings natural healing and gratitude into every aspect of her family’s life.
Dr Meagan Mateialona
Dr. Meagen graduated with a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University College of Chiropractic in Marietta, GA. While pursuing her Doctorate of Chiropractic, she also received her Masters in Sport Injury Management from Life University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 2005 from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She is Board Certified and has been a practicing Chiropractor for eight plus years.
Through school and beyond she received extensive hands-on chiropractic training, involving numerous techniques, functional neurology, sensory-motor re-integration, nutrition, and case management regarding preconception, pregnancy, post-partum, pediatrics, and adulthood. Patients have ranged from newborns, pregnant mommies, toddlers, adults, athletes and the elderly. Her excitement for chiropractic is centered on my love of children, pregnant mothers and their families. It’s never too late to start Chiropractic care, and she encourages and welcomes patients of all ages.
Liz McConnell, Dropin Play Facilitator
Liz McConnell is a former kindergarten and first grade classroom teacher, as well as a mom to her sweet son, Charlie. She is passionate about early childhood educational experiences, and hopes to support children and families with her wide range of social/emotional and academic expertise. Liz obtained an undergraduate degree in elementary education with a specialty in Language Arts and Math from Oakland University, as well as a Master's degree in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University. As a classroom teacher, she worked with a wide range of student needs and abilities, and developed an emphatic and loving view on whole-child parenting and educating. Liz completed yoga teacher training at Red Lotus Yoga in Rochester Hills in 2013, and incorporates the fundamental ideas that she learned into her approach to working with young children. Since leaving the classroom, Liz has enjoyed spending more time with her family, as well as working on her food blog, The Kindred Baker.
Johana Pedreros, Dropin Play Facilitator
Johana is a Business Administrator that came to United States from South America (Colombia) looking to learn English as a Second Language (ESL) as a goal to become more competitive in this globalized world. Since then, she has had a wonderful cultural exchange. During her first four years, she met families that allowed her to share time with their children teaching Spanish. Johana is a mom of a lovely girl who has provided her the most beautiful experience of her life and continues to teach her day to day how fortunate and blessed she is performing this role.
Melanie Pieknik, Yoga Instructor
Melanie Pieknik has been an RN since 2004, specializing in Emergency- Trauma, more recently working in home care and public health. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing in 2004, Master’s in the Science of Nursing in 2011, and completed her Yoga Therapy certification with
YogaMedics in 2012. She is the proud Mama of Lily and Oliver, who never cease to amaze her!
Melanie has long had an interest and fascination with the mind-body connection and continues to be inspired by the clients with whom she works.
Preya Shah, CranioSacral Therapist
Preya has been a practicing CranioSacral Therapist for 11 years. She is also a University of Michigan alumni, Yoga teacher, Theta Healing Instructor, Corporate Wellness Speaker, and Ordained Minister. She integrates these passions into each powerful patient focused holistic healing session. CranioSacral therapy (CST) is a light touch modalities in which the practitioner will ‘tune in’ to the body’s natural rhythm to release long standing physical, emotional and spiritual blockages. Preya has successfully treated hundreds of clients with a multitude of concerns from chronic and acute pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, autism, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular diseases, to newborns with difficulty latching. CST is also great at improving immune function, overall energy and vitality!
Jamie Solomon, Little Learners Instructor
Jamie Solomon has over thirteen years of experience working in education, spending most of her time as the lead teacher in preschool classrooms in San Francisco and, later, in her home state of Michigan. She also teaches college courses in early childhood education and has
worked as a mentor to student teachers. While completing the master’s program at San Francisco State University, Solomon focused her studies on gender identity development in young children. She regularly shares her research at local and national conferences and through her writing. Solomon continues to focus on identity work with children, as she helps nurture their social emotional intelligence through curriculum and dialogue.
Two years ago, Solomon took on a new role: mom to twins Kemp and Jack! She continues to
grow and learn in her parenting role as well as her teaching role!