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What's your story?

Do I have a story? It's just me. Rena Perchinske. I am a mother of a daughter about to graduate and twin boys in the 8th grade. Becoming a mother made me badass.

Growing up I was a people pleaser. At times I find myself falling back into that. Having children gave me the guts to speak out, and not be used as a doormat. As they get older I find that roll diminishing in some ways. I have to teach them to be badass, but yet respectful.

Later in life I have learned I can not be afraid of the unknown. I began teaching Zumba almost 7 years ago. Teaching through dance has empowered me in ways that I never knew it could.

I was also approached 5 years ago to run for a political position. Me? Politics? Absolutely not. However, I stewed over it for a year. The position was to represent children in our district. I thought more if I could fight for my kids, why not a "few" more. That seemed the logical transition in life for me.

There are two occasions where I felt "badass." The first was winning my election and coming in first just being me. Second was when I recently went and spoke before the Ohio Senate Education Committee. My life is evolving again with children getting more independent.

What is my next story? How will I continue to be badass as I go into my 50's? Do I have more in me?

What makes you nervous about having your portrait taken?

As much as I am outgoing, I am self-conscious at times. The portrait session was not your typical mall portrait studio session. Not knowing what Jennifer was going to have me do, had me nervous. In the end, it ended up being a mini celebration of my story... Thank you Jennifer Hearn!

Can I share some of your images?


What do you love doing that makes you feel kick ass?

As you read above, being a Mother, a supportive wife, a Zumba Instructor and a political figure.

What inspired your portraits?

I feel am a different person in everyday life, but get me on stage and I unleash... All in a good way!

What bad ass women inspire you?

My Mom, who came to this country and raised three daughters with my Dad. Her mother and father never had the opportunity to visit here. She was a stay at home mom who did the best she could raising three daughters in another country with some support of friends. .

A second person is one of my best friends. Charlotte Chester passed away from cancer in 2006. I was in denial because of her uplifting and humorous attitude. That was as badass as one could be when you are fighting for your life.... I have learned so much from these women.

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