Meet Our Team

REV 2 - meet our team.png

OUR TEAM

 

APRIL DODGE

EDITOR, CONTENT ADVISOR, CAMP PROGRAM DEVELOPER, WING WOMAN

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

I went to an all-girls school and from as long as I can remember, I was always the tallest girl in my class. I was the “biggest.” Always. Because I naturally stood out, I did everything in my power not to stand out. I slouched, I wore baggy clothes, I tried to shrink. Whenever I met anyone for the first time (grown-ups included), the very first comment after hello was, “you’re so tall!” That still happens today. As I transitioned from kid to teenager in middle school my extreme self-consciousness turned to self-sabotage and I started eating to feel better. Because I grew so early, so fast, my height slowed down in middle school, but my weight began to skyrocket. When I look back at photos around 6th and 7th grade, the adult me sees a beautiful girl of average weight. Not fat. Not big. Tall and pretty. But I certainly didn’t feel pretty. I only felt big. People told me I was pretty. I heard that all the time, but I never believed it. In 8th grade I started becoming more visibly heavy. Around this time, I had an appearance on my uncle’s local TV show. The make-up lady told my mother, “she has such a pretty face. If she lost weight, she could be a model.” I went from feeling generally insecure, to feeling fat and insecure. I felt like I had failed. I was enrolled in aerobics classes; I was put on diets. I got bigger and bigger until at age 30, I decided to make a big change. I started seeing a therapist and I found the courage to finally lose the weight – I was tired of the disguise. I was finally ready to shine and show my awesome superpowers!

 

What are your superpowers?

 

The superpowers I’m most proud of are my kindness and empathy. 

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

I joined the Perfectly Me team, because I want to help other girls find their superpowers earlier than I did. I want both of my children - but especially my daughter, who is about to start middle school - to be as healthy and loving to themselves as possible so when others are not so kind, they can turn up their own superpowers and shine bright! And, I want them to share their superpowers so they may lift up those around them who may need a little help. What a perfectly awesome world we can create, together, if we all share our superpowers to help ourselves and others!

BattleScene-10.jpg
April Photo for Website.jpg
BattleScene-10.jpg
IMG_6947.JPG

LAURIE SMITH

CURRICULUM DEVELOPER, LESSON CREATOR, EDITOR

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

Some heroes are from Mars; some are from India; others might be from Maryland; but I am from many places!  I was born in Spain and grew up speaking both Spanish and English.  I also lived in a rough part of Chicago for some years with people from all over the world.  In Chicago, my family struggled to get by.  My dad worked overnight and my mom worked during the day to provide for our family. Then my family moved to a small country in South America called Ecuador until I was eighteen years old.  I didn't quite fit in anywhere and at the same time, I fit in everywhere!  Because of my experiences growing up, I really care about the people who don't fit in; the people who don't have much money; the people that are treated badly by others; or just not understood by others.  When I grew up, I dedicated my life to helping people like that.  I worked in Uganda, East Africa, helping to provide families and a safe place to live for children who had lost their parents. I also started an organization in a small Caribbean/African American community in Miami, helping the people to use their skills to achieve their dreams for themselves and the community.  Now I live in Philadelphia while I work on my Master's Degree in Psychology.  I plan to continue my work to empower people to live to their full superhero potential! 

 

What are your superpowers?

 

Like many other superheroes, my superpowers were forged out my personal experiences:

  • Bridging the gap between people from different countries and cultures

  • Making "outsiders" feel welcomed and special

  • Activating other people's superpowers

  • Blending in anywhere

  • Learning languages

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

Laurie joined the PM team because she believes that ALL girls have superpowers, but that they sometimes just need help seeing it! She wanted to help girls all over the world to activate their superpowers!

PJ WEST

WRITER, PERFECTLY ME SQUAD

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

I started developing my powers by watching superhero cartoons and live-action superhero shows on Saturday mornings when I was a little kid.  Over time, I became a lifelong comic book fan, which expanded my powers to the level they're at now.  I also read lots of books outside the superhero genre, which gives me added powers.

What are your superpowers?

 

My main superpower is Adventure Vision.  Using this power, I can help Raquel see into the world of the Perfectly Me Squad, so I can report back to her with the latest updates on the team's exciting adventures.  This power is growing, and soon I should be able to see into the past as well.  This will help us reveal amazing developments and stories that made the team what they are today.

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

I joined the Perfectly Me Team because I found Raquel's mission to be fascinating and compelling.  Although there are many superheroes already, the world urgently needs the Perfectly Me Squad.  We need more kindness, effective action, and inspiration in this world, and they are here to deliver it big time.  Maya, Joseph, Lily, Rebecca, Hannah and Lester are brilliant, good-hearted, inspirational heroes.  They will take our readers on adventures at the edge of imagination.  And they might just help make the world a better place, too.

BattleScene-10.jpg
BattleScene-10.jpg
Yvonne Wilkins.jpg

YVONNE WILKINS

AWESOME PERFECTLY ME GIRLS WRITER, CONTENT CREATOR

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

I was born in Monrovia, Liberia. I came to America when she was two years old and grew up on the east coast with my two older sisters and my little brother. I learned early in life that I loved to write and speak. I followed my passion in college as a communications major and went on to launch a career working in media in NYC. After five years of working and facing great challenges in the corporate world, I realized that I could use my skills and powers in a different way. I began working independently as a writer, entrepreneur, and Zumba instructor! Today, my life motto is "get this health, get this wealth, and spread this love!"

What are your superpowers?

 

I am a creator. I use my powers to think of great ideas and bring them to life. I am also resilient I am strong and able to bounce back after being pushed down. Finally, I have the power of the light, the light shines within me and I use it to help spread positive energy to others.

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

I joined the APMG team because I could see the vision that Raquel had in mind. I loved the energy and the concept of superhero girls. I was excited for the opportunity to share my creative ideas with a team and see the results of the work. APMG is an inspiration to me, and I hope my contributions to the team can inspire others. 

DENISE FORTSON

PROGRAM COORDINATOR, LEADER, COMMUNITY ADVOCATE

What is Your Origin Story? Every Hero has One?
 

I was born and raised in Baltimore. I have been working in youth programs for many years and I love working with children and providing assistance with various tasks. I enjoy organizing and supervising fun, engaging recreational and non recreational activities. I think communication is so important and I work hard to do so with children as I am helping them complete supervalues building tasks. I am most proud of my ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with children and their parents.

 

What are Your Superpowers?

 

There are many superpowers that she admires but integrity is most important to her. It contributes to the solid foundation that Perfectly Me is built on. 

Why Did You Join Perfectly Me?

 

Working with Perfectly Me offers me the opportunity to work with children, helping them to discover their superpowers and supporting them using their superpowers in positive ways.

BattleScene-10.jpg
Picture of denise for webssite.jpg
BattleScene-10.jpg

PINECONE CREATIVE MEDIA

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

In a world where those with the most money have the loudest voice, Pinecone Creative Media sprouted, took root, and became a force to amplify the voices of the good guys.

What are your superpowers?

Partnering with organizations who work tirelessly to make the world a better place, our superpower is helping them to tell their stories using visual media.

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

We joined the Perfectly Me team to use our superpowers to help YOU find your superpowers.