What I wish someone had told me

Featuring Girls on the Run of the Triangle

Iwish someone had told me how much I could learn from an elementary school girl.

Girls on the Run teams prepare for their end-of-season 5K race

Meet Molly.

Molly Barker (right), is the founder of Girls on the Run International, which began in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Molly’s nonprofit helps girls break out of the girl box in which adolescent girls sometimes find themselves because of societal or cultural pressures. Molly inspires me to run nearly every day.

I used running as a tool to deal with stress, anxiety, and to stay healthy. During my junior year of college, I heard about Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a nationwide nonprofit that inspires young girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Its curriculum creatively integrates running so girls can activate their limitless potential. Now when I run, I see these faces.

The GOTR 5K, held in April 2015.

I wish I had known how much I could learn from volunteering. GOTR values include: empowerment, responsibility, optimism, and gratitude. Over the course of a fall or spring season, GOTR curriculum incorporates their values into training for a 5K race — often a girl’s first experience with running. The program serves third through fifth grade girls.

Girls learn about peer pressure, making friends, and healthy choices. They are insightful, courageous, and wise. Through GOTR, girls learn and grow their own values. Teams at elementary schools around the country work for 12 weeks to prepare for a 5K end-of-season race, where they celebrate accomplishments they’ve made during the season.

Meet Veronica.

Veronica Quiett participated in the spring 2015 season of GOTR Triangle.

I coached Veronica and her teammates during the 2015 spring season. Over the course of the season, Veronica and I talked about how she can take skills she learned on a team and carry them with her later in life, like in college.

“I feel really happy when I start to run. If I’m not in a good mood, running sort of helps me clear it out.” -Veronica Quiett, a GOTR participant

I volunteer because of notes like this one:

Over the past 20 years, Girls on the Run has served one million girls. That’s one million girls crossing the finish line, one million heartbeats, and one million goals achieved.
A GOTR Triangle participant crosses the finish line in spring 2015

As a participant, girls learn from coaches who care about their futures. Others volunteer at the 5K race and encourage teammates. Just like Molly inspired me, I know GOTR Triangle volunteers make an impact in the lives of girls in our local schools.

That’s why dozens of people choose to volunteer for the end-of-season 5K race.

Impact from this year’s GOTR Triangle teams