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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!

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AMANDA LOVELACE
CONTENT ADVISOR, EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT, CAMP PROGRAM DEVELOPER

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

I grew up in Goldens Bridge, NY.  I received my B.A. in Sociology from Dickinson College. I moved to Maryland in 2007 to attend graduate school at Johns Hopkins University for Early Childhood Special Education.  My passion has always been helping children become the best version of themselves.  I have worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist, helping children understand and cope with difficult medical procedures and diagnosis’s before moving over into teaching Special Education in Howard County Public Schools.  In 2017, I left formal teaching to open my own educational consulting firm that helps children and families navigate the complex process of special education.  I am married to an awesome husband and have two amazing daughters and two energetic dogs (one is less energetic than he used to be).  My incredible family help me hone my superpowers on a daily basis by challenging my need to be flexible, organized, creative, kind, patient and loving. 

 

What are your superpowers?

 

My superpowers are creativity, humor, and thoughtfulness. 

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

I joined the Perfectly Me team in order to continue my mission of helping children to become the very best versions of themselves possible.  Sometimes finding your superpower isn’t always easy but with the right guidance and support every child can unleash the superpowers within themselves to make this world a better place!

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MARIJA LUGARIC
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

What is your origin story? Every hero has one

 

As a lover of the arts and everything digital, I am always looking for ways to connect Perfectly Me with parents raising strong, kind, and courageous children. Now a social butterfly, I was actually quite a shy child. I struggled with my self-esteem and found it hard to make many friends. Instead of playing sports with other kids after school, I preferred making music with my dad and taking flute lessons which unfortunately wasn’t perceived as very “cool”. 

 

What are your superpowers?

 

Yet playing the flute allowed me connect with others through the language of music, it taught me to take pride in my talents and helped me identify my super powers of courage and creativity.

Why did you join Perfectly Me?

 

I joined the Perfectly Me team because I believe in a world where our differences are celebrated and want our children to know that they are more than enough, just as they are.

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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!

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Baltimore, MD     pmsuperheroes@gmail.com     (443) 977-4911

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