Who we are

About Us

Bringing diverse communities together to share in the wondrous power of the human mind, body and spirit. Centered in the beautiful, internationally recognized community of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, Awakening has found a venue in full, rich support of its Mission.

Executive Director

Maria T. Carranza, MMQ

Executive Director
Maria T. Carranza moved to Florida from Puerto Rico in the mid-1980s, and currently resides in beautiful St. Petersburg. She has been if the field of clinical laboratory science for over 20 years. She has worked for the Florida State Agency of Health Care Administration as an inspector of laboratories and health facilities. She currently shares her time between the clinical field and that of Alternative Medicine and Holistic Arts where she practices as a Medical Qigong Master, and holds additional certifications in Tibetan Bowl Sound Therapy, and Reiki. She is currently enrolled in the Medical Qigong doctorate program and is a practicing partner in Awakening Wellness Centers, Inc. She's committed to helping people in her vocational and avocational work. To that end, she created the Awakening Into The Sun program raising public awareness of and cultivating health & wellness. The Awakening organization promotes educational programs and in Positive Thinking, Exercise, Nutrition, and the Arts.
Board Member

John DeRugeris, PE, DMQ

Board Member
Semi- retired owner/ founder/ partner of a national engineering firm; Principle in Awakening Wellness Centers Inc. a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, whose focus is to bringing affordable holistic health solutions to the public through education, training and personal practice. He has been focusing his efforts for the past twelve years helping people find their path to wholeness with stress reduction, movement, and nutrition. Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor thru training at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing under Drs Deepak Chopra and David Simon. Specialties in Yoga Therapy from Kripalu Center of Yoga & Health. Certified Reiki Master & Qigong instructor; currently enrolled in Medical Qigong doctoral program at the National College of Medical Qigong.
Board Member

Norma L. Carranza, MD

Board Member
Dr. Carranza was the chief dietitian for the Health Department in Arecibo, Puerto Rico where she fell in love with Medicine, and Working in the field of Medicine , she decided to add to her practice her knowledge in Nutrition and opened her practice mostly to overweight , obese and bariatric patients given these patients her own program called " Caminalo". There she oriented on diet, and opened a medical gym where she did her own exercise classes and program including mental and relaxed exercises with meditation and Yoga to help the patients improved her mental health and physical conditions.. She is being working with Diabetics, Hypertensive patients and obese youngsters for many years.. She practices respiratory exercises and meditation, and has practiced Yoga for many years. Dr. Carranza maintains her membership at The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the PR chapter of the Academy, the CNDPR, CMCPR and is currently Senator for the last 6 years for the Colegio Medicos-Cirujanos de PR (CMCPR). She continues to fulfill her Continuing Medical Education requirements and maintains her licenses. Happily retired, she is active doing voluntary work for non-profit organizations.