Happy Women’s History Month! We’ve got a bit of recent Perfect Ten history to fill you in on. Girls have been busy! Where to begin?

We ended 2016 in the most fun way—with a party, of course! Thank you to all of our collaborators who celebrated with us. It was fun to see so many familiar faces here at the Perfect Ten house, such as friends from PS21, The Sylvia Center, The BlueHawk Nation After School Program, Camphill Hudson, Kite’s Nest, Columbia Land Conservancy, and so many others. We are so grateful for the continued support.

And just like that, 2017 began, and with some big changes for us. Laura Miller, our beloved Director, has stepped down to devote more time to her family. We were sad, but this has created a wonderful opportunity for Pamela Badila and Emily Schuit to flex and grow. They now share the director role, with Pamela focusing on arts and culture and Emily on communications and operations. They continue to be ably assisted by our team of dedicated volunteers: Arminee Bowler, Candace Bachrach, and Sherri Bolevice. With their help, our pantry is stocked, our girls remain calm and centered, and grades are kept in check—thank you! We also bid adieu to a board member, Warren Collins, and welcomed some new ones. Cameron Melville of Club Helsinki has joined us, and brought a piano and some lessons! Katherine Kananga and Stephanie First bring new energy and ideas to the board as well, and we are so pleased to have them.

The first few months of 2017 have been... empowering! Girls learned first-hand how to defend themselves through Jujitsu. Angela Kolewe from Atlas JuJitsu is the most inspiring teacher. She showed us that size does not matter, and that concentration, leverage, and technique can go a long way. We crushed it!

Now spring is almost upon us, and while the birds are chirping, Perfect Ten girls are humming with new ideas, adventures, projects, and enthusiasm! We have begun a series of small workshops on site with local artisans. Shana Lee, of Shana Lee Jewelry in Hudson, has been working with three of our most dedicated aspiring artisans who are designing and executing creations of their own. They are mastering hammering, soldering, and engraving. Opi, Selena, and Quianna are excited to share their creations at Hudson’s Summer Market. Judge for yourself, but we think these girls are the next big designers!

We also began a ceramics workshop with the cool and sophisticated Paula Greif. She has invited girls into her store/studio space on Warren St. where they are practicing on the pottery wheel and making pots and dishes by hand. Girls are also participating in a writing project with author Chloe Caldwell, putting personal stories on paper and exploring new writing styles. And, to top it off, Perfect Ten Girls are learning the artistry of makeup with Mara Schiavetti of A Green Beauty! From properly applying vegan beauty products to making homemade masks, these girls are learning how to take care of their skin, and pamper themselves and each other. Plus we have also been learning how to take care of our bodies through cooking with the Sylvia Center and Katchkee Farm! The highlight of the week is working with Jenn So and Virginia Meza to prepare an entree and dessert using local produce and healthy ingredients. These girls are chefs in training—everything that comes out of our kitchen tastes gourmet!

What about the younger Sprouts? Teresa Meza and Whitney Wilkens provide programing for them as partners in the BlueHawk Nation After School Program twice a week. Recently, each girl wrote a letter to her 18 year-old self! We’re gearing up to launch our Big Sister/Little Sister program where, twice a month, the older girls will host the younger girls at the Perfect Ten house for a family meal and some fun crafts-- girls helping girls.

Supporting these endeavors means everything to the future of girls! In celebration of Women’s History Month, and of the girls right here in our own community, please consider donating to Perfect Ten Hudson right now! Click on the DONATE button or send a check to Perfect Ten at 32 Warren St., Hudson, NY 12534. We thank you.

With gratitude,

Girls of Hudson, Paula Forman, Pamela Badila, and Emily Schuit

Tina Dipper