Meet Deana and Tom


Deana Ruggieri & Tom Nelson are professional educators devoted to working with young adults as they heal the aftermath of abuse and patterns of addiction. As special education teachers for at-risk teens in Hollywood, Deana and Tom engaged their students in enriching and life-changing community service activities. In 2006 they founded GROWTH Foundation, offering tutor and mentor services, as well as opportunities for involvement in the arts, Girl Scouting, volunteer work and civics. A portion of each sale of Children of War: The Mike Rodriguez Story is dedicated to a scholarship fund in his name to aid the youth he served in achieving their personal and academic goals.