I can still remember my first Girls on the Run 5K, the sea of pink rippling through the
trees, the powerful sound of cheers echoing through the park and the ocean tinged wind
whipping across my face as I crossed the finish line. It was electrifying.
While this moment will be forever imprinted in my mind, the most lasting memories are the many valuable lessons I learned sitting under an oak tree at Buena Vista Elementary during countless Girls on the Run practices. I remember Coach Stacey and Coach Jan acting out scenarios to teach us how to stand up for ourselves, using a toothpaste tube to demonstrate the importance of using kind words,
bringing in magazine clippings to show us how to not let the media affect our body image, and teaching us
to use “I” statements to let someone know our feelings are hurt. Growing up with a stutter, I was self-conscious and had a pretty negative view of myself. I wasn’t happy with who I was.
My parents started to notice a change; I was more energized, would speak up more, and stopped negative self talk. I am proud to say that in 2011, I gave a speech at the Girls on the Run Gala fundraiser to share my amazing experience in the program. It was an unforgettable experience as I overcame my fear of public speaking while giving back to an organization so dear to me. Being a third year at Wellesley College, I
have now fully come to value and understand the power and necessity of woman-centered spaces: positive feminocentric spaces are few and far between. The beauty of Girls on the Run is that girls experience the power of a community constructed solely for them in elementary school.
I am passionate about giving every girl a safe space where she has the opportunity to grow, embrace herself fully, and most importantly, walk with the knowledge that she is powerful and capable. I am so honored to be serving the next generation of amazing women as a part of the team at Girls on the Run this summer and cannot wait to see what the future holds!