by Lisa Tome
Claire Hudson has her priorities straight - community service, academics, and athletics - in that order.
"It's all about balance. I try to figure out what is most important. It does fluctuate. But once you do one community service thing it pushes you to do more," said Hudson.
That philosophy earned Hudson first place in the state's Women of Tomorrow competition held earlier in the summer.
Women of Tomorrow honorees are selected annually by the Maryland Commission for Women. She was one of seven girls chosen in the state. She collected a Governor's Citation - commending her for her "exceptional academic ability" and her service in the community. She also received a glass trophy and was honored in Annapolis. "It was really intimidating. I met others who do so much. The other girl in my age group was from Ethiopia. She was so inspiring. I wanted her to win. It seemed like she needed it more," said Hudson.
Hudson, 15, a daughter of Ken and Krysia Hudson of Port Deposit, is a standout sophomore at Perryville High. She has a greater than 4.0 grade point average, plays varsity field hockey, and is a member of the indoor track and track and field teams. She is in the school choir and advanced choir, had a role in last year's school play, and was a member of the Freshman Leadership Team.
She was nominated for the award by field hockey coach Kelsey Schuch.
"I am honored, excited and happy," said Hudson.
Outside of school and off the playing field, Hudson performs what she feels are her most important duties - helping others.
She feeds the homeless in Elkton and stocks shelves at the St. Vincent de Paul Society food pantry.
She also volunteers to do yard work and beautification projects at St. Patrick's Chapel.
"I learned service with my grandparents (Bill and Marilyn Paré). They taught me to put others before myself," said Hudson.