Our Staff & Board Members
Haley Bezon - Founder, Director
Haley Bezon is the founder and director of Hearty Roots. She created this program to fill a need; to get local kids outdoors and exploring the places that exist in their communities while fostering their 'inner-shine' and grit. The program is unique because the counselors like Haley who work the sessions are qualified, professional adults who have pursued careers in working with children and reaching each unique child where they are. Her belief in the restorative powers of nature and her passion for social-emotional learning are at the foundation of Hearty Roots. She has a degree in social work, is a K-8 certified teacher, and has a masters degree in school counseling. She is currently the school counselor at Edgecomb Eddy school where she provides support to students and families and teaches weekly guidance classes that foster social skills and emotional growth. Her experience running wilderness therapy trips in Alaska prior to moving to Maine gives her the backcountry skills to run high-quality, safe and therapeutic programming. Haley is raising her three young (awesome) children in Bremen with her husband Andy.
REBECCA SLACK - Instructor
Rebecca graduated from University of Maine at Farmington in 2015. She currently is working towards a Masters in Clinical Mental Health at New England College in Concord, New Hampshire. Rebecca intends to use her degree to work with children within the counseling field. At previous work positions, she’s had experience leading girls on wilderness trips, along with working as a BHP in a day treatment setting for two years. In her free time, she loves to be outside hiking, playing ultimate frisbee, swimming or canoeing. Rebecca says that Hearty Roots has been a place where she has learned a lot about teaching mindfulness, yoga, and how to connect to nature.
Rebecca has been working at Hearty Roots for the past 10 sessions and has had the privilege of working with both boys and girls at Hearty Roots. She says the program has opened her eyes to the power of community and what it really means to live in the moment. Through the journaling activities, the girls and boys have been able to explore their own thoughts, dreams, and emotions in a safe environment. Rebecca loves to see kids grow and achieve success through biking, hiking, and yoga, each of which really highlights the grit and resilience of each child.
LAURA TELEK - Instructor
Laura is from Rochester, New York and got her bachelors degree in Adventure Education at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She currently lives in Wiscasset, Maine working at Hearty Roots and at a local coffee shop. Laura enjoys ice climbing in the winter, and in warmer weather, she can often be found backpacking, paddling or climbing at varied local gems. Laura is working for Hearty Roots because their mission statement was quite similar to her own mission. She loves the outdoors and believes everyone should have opportunities to explore the natural world. Laura enjoys working with younger populations because they have such fresh ideas and are always so full of unapologetic joy. She says they help remind her why she fell in love with nature and also rejuvenates her inner youth. Laura has a great passion for helping others, particularly through education. She hopes she can educate the young adults that pass through Hearty Roots as much as they educate her.
Misha Barker - Instructor
Misha is a camp counselor. Bio coming soon!
Kristin Cameron - Board member
Kristin is the Occupational Therapist for the AOS 98 school system in Lincoln County Maine, inclusive of Boothbay, Southport Island and Edgecomb schools. She is passionate for the work she has provided with children as an OT for the past 28 years. She received her M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University. As an undergraduate, she focused her studies for a B.A. in Social Work, Outdoor and Therapeutic Recreation at Radford University in Virginia. During her free time, she enjoys just about any activity on water, exploring off the beaten trails, knitting, and beloved beach time. Kristin was honored to join the Hearty Roots board, as she was inspired by the excellence in the vision and by the skill and passion of the creator. Kristin has full confidence in the restorative power of this unique Hearty Roots approach. She feels there is no greater match than empowerment through opportunity within the natural world and quality connection for the growth of confidence and self esteem in the “can do” knowing that we all deserve to call our own. She believes that the Hearty Roots experience is truly invaluable.
Ali Stevenson - Board member
Ali is the Communications Manager at Midcoast Conservancy. She worked at Poets & Writers in New York City, as the editor of Maine in Print at Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, a crew coach, and was a foster parent for many years. She majored in Creative Writing and Religious Studies at Brown University. When not at work, she tries to be outside hiking, paddling, sailing, snowshoeing or camping with her husband Ken, three dogs, and whichever one of her five kids is around. Ali is grateful to be on the board because the magic of Hearty Roots speaks to her belief that every kid needs to know that they are enough, and that they have everything they need within themselves. The counselors and programs that are the heart and soul of Hearty Roots reveal kids to themselves and offer a path to self-esteem and a sense of place in the world. We all need hearty roots to thrive!
Heather Burt - Board member
Heather Burt was born in Maine and has been an outdoor enthusiast since she was little. Spending time in the woods and exploring were important parts of her childhood and continue to provide her with a sense of wonder. She believes that caring for ourselves and for the planet comes out of falling in love with the Earth and our surroundings. You can only do that by getting out there and getting to know it. Heather joined the Board of Hearty Roots because she believes in the mission and experienced firsthand the positive impact the program had on her own daughter who has now attended four sessions. Heather lives in Edgecomb with her daughter and a menagerie of animals. She is the General Manager at Rising Tide Co-op and was the Executive Director of FARMS.