GREGARIOUS GABBY is a SMART, CREATIVE and PRECOCIOUS first-grader, doing things her way!   


Meet GREGARIOUS GABBY, not your typical girly girl. This smart, creative and precocious first-grader is doing things her way!   

Join her as she welcomes you into her world. 


About the Author
A graduate of East Carolina University, Tonza D. Ruffin earned her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Women’s Studies. She went on to earn her Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgia State University College of Law.  After being admitted to the North Carolina Bar, Tonza began her career, twenty years ago, as an attorney in Eastern North Carolina where she has dedicated her career to defending individuals charged with crimes that range from capital murder to minor misdemeanor offenses.

In addition to running her legal practice, Tonza has served on the Faculty of the Felony Defender Trial School at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Government, the Board of Directors for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for KIPP ENC. In 2015, Tonza was selected by the North Carolina Indigent Defense Services Commission to receive the “Professor John Rubin Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Indigent Defense Services Training Programs”.

Approximately two years ago, Tonza decided to pursue her passion for writing and began her blog SouthernMomJD ( SouthernMomJD is filled with many heartfelt, funny, and transparent stories about Tonza’s journey as a southern woman, southern lawyer, and southern mom. In addition, Tonza is a guest columnist for her hometown newspaper, the Bertie-Ledger Advance, is a co-author in the anthology, Divorced…Not Devastated and is the author of Pieces of Me.

Tonza’s most important accomplishment, she is the proud mother of three beautiful girls; Sierra, Alyssa, and Gabriella!

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southern woman, southern mom, and southern lawyer!

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