Volunteer Spotlight: Jen

Name: Jen Perko

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mother of two beautiful children, Sebastian (14) and Madilyn (11). Married for 15 wonderful years to my husband/best friend John. I own Luvih Yoga Studio, in downtown Massillon, where I get to do what I love, teach and practice yoga. Supporting mental health and wellness is such a huge part of why yoga became a focus in my life. Through yoga, I can help promote mental clarity, calmness, body awareness, reduce anxiety/stress to better ones life. I am also very passionate about working with the youth. I am an avid volunteer for many youth programs (GiGi’s Playhouse, Girls and Boys Club of Massillon, youth cheer, teaching yoga at different school districts and a member of the Belden Village Kiwanis Club).
I want to fulfill my life with love through physical touch, quality time, acts of service, life’s gifts and words of affirmation.

We want to get to know you! What are some of your favorites? (food, color, season, activity, restaurant, place to shop, etc.)

Food – Italian – I love Bugsy’s restaurant
Color – yellow it’s bright a cheerful
Season – summer, everything is in full swing in life (trees, flowers, animals) the sunshine and being outdoors heals my soul
Activity- I love to travel – seeing new places and sharing the wonderments of the world with my children
Shopping – Homegoods/Marshalls – I love to buy stuff to fill our home with coziness

How did you learn about GiGi’s and what prompted you to become a volunteer?

I met the Budd family 4 years ago while teaching youth cheer. I got to know the family over time and Christina had asked if I would be interested in coming into teach yoga over the summer at GiGi’s. Once I walked in through the doors at GiGi’s Playhouse, I knew that at GiGi’s is where I was meant to be. Everything about GiGi’s made my heart feel whole and I wanted to be a part of the family.

Tell us more about what you do at the Playhouse!

I lead the Leaps and Bounds Program. It’s a program for 3-5 year olds that incorporates different skill levels to prepare the kiddos for school.

What is your favorite experience you have had at the Playhouse?

My favorite experience is walking through the doors each month and seeing all those beautiful smiles. Each of those smiles has taught me strength, to take things one step at a time, to embrace life for all its beauty and how bright the heart can truly shine.

Jen has been an amazing asset and a bright light to our volunteer team, and her love for GiGi’s shines through in all she does. From creative lesson plans for our early learners to attending the Canton Area Buddy Walk to offer free programming to families, we could not be more thrilled to honor Jen’s dedication! Leaps & Bounds is a play-based program for children that focuses on success in preschool and kindergarten. Students will participate in fun and engaging activities that provide opportunities for following routines, small group participation, movement and interaction with their environment. Family members are key participants in this program and will encourage their child to reach his or her Best of All throughout each session.  Recommended for ages 3-5 year olds.

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