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Empowering Strides Using Girls on the Run Lessons

Not only is Cate one of Girls on the Run Bay Area's great Social Media Interns, Cate also spent time as a Coach and tells us how coaching and the lessons she taught (and learnt) have helped her navigate her first semester as a student athlete at Stanford. Please read alolng to learn more about the powerful impact the Girls on the Run curriculum has and how it empowers us not as young girls, but throughout adulthood! 

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Empowering Strides Using Girls on the Run Lessons

Not only is Cate one of Girls on the Run Bay Area's great Social Media Interns, Cate also spent time as a Coach and tells us how coaching and the lessons she taught (and learnt) have helped her navigate her first semester as a student athlete at Stanford. Please read alolng to learn more about the powerful impact the Girls on the Run curriculum has and how it empowers us not as young girls, but throughout adulthood! 

Why You Should Sign Up for Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run Bay Area (GOTRBA) was featured on the Family Radio Public Affairs program. Executive director Catherine Muriel discussed the impact of the program with Carmen Shanks. 

“We have a program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident,” said Muriel. “Every girl, no matter her activity level, her ethnicity, her race, her economic status, benefits from our program.”

Muriel builds on this statement by talking about the funding available to make this accessibility possible. “Over 70% of our participants receive scholarship funding, and if they don't have a good... pair of running shoes, we also provide them a new pair.”

GOTRBA is simply unlike any other after school activity. “There's no program that integrates both the unique combination of the evidence based curriculum and the physical activity” said Muriel when describing the unique way Girls on the Run structures their practices to integrate life lessons with engaging exercises.

Muriel then takes us through a typical GOTRBA practice where gratitude is the lesson of the week. “We start off by doing some exercises so they can run off some steam. Then we have this circle time where we teach them about gratitude. And then the curriculum integrates an exercise with that lesson, and they do their goal setting for their laps and start building up to that 5K.”

Gratitude is not the only skill girls learn in our program. Lessons on how to choose a healthy friend, integrate positive self-talk into your life, and activate your star power are all included in the 8-10 week season.

The program culminates in a community impact project where “the team identifies a community need and learns how to address it.” Muriel elaborates on the impacts of this part of the curriculum: “they learn to compromise because each girl puts out what they want to do and so they vote and they have to choose one topic.” Learning how to compromise and being able to give back to their community are two benefits of this end-of-season project – plus, it's fun! Girls can design cards for seniors, write letters to firefighters, or make blankets for animals – tapping into their creative side.

The season finishes with a flourish at the end-of-season 5K, where the girls show off their
fitness skills as they complete a full 5K with their friends, family, and all of the GOTRBA teams.

Registration for this one-of-a-kind program is open now! Use the link to sign up for our spring season:

Why Everyone Should Sign Up To Be A Running Buddy

Our 5K is fast approaching, and you have a unique opportunity to be a part of this experience by signing up to be a running buddy for one of the amazing girls in our program! I reached out to Susan Hill, a GOTR coach currently at Memorial Park in San Ramon, and she agreed to share her running buddy experience with us:

Cate: Why did you decide to become a running buddy?

Susan: While working at UPS, I was introduced to Girls on the Run. GOTR offered a volunteer
opportunity as a running buddy. I read about the program, was running at the time, and
determined it was a great way to give back to the community.

Cate: What was your experience like?

Susan: I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the girls and running with them in Golden Gate
Park. I was amazed with the determination of so many young people to run that day.

Cate: What advice would you give for people who may be hesitant to sign up?

Susan: My advice is simple, sign up! It is not a race, but a run. Regardless of your running
ability, the girls are wonderful inspiration for all. So much so, when I found out about a coaching opportunity, I signed up for that too!

Susan said it best – we encourage you to sign up to be a running buddy so every girl can have someone cheering them on as they make their way to the finish line! Click the link below to register:

Youth Empowerment in Montana: Climate Change Advocacy

Young climate change advocates in Montana between the ages of five and 22 sued the state government over policies that violated their right to a healthy environment in 2020. Three years later, their case was heard in court, and this week, the judge ruled that state agencies must take into account the effects of greenhouse gas emissions when evaluating energy projects. 

According to to an interview with Inside Climate News, Michael Gerrard, founder of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, stated that this ruling is “the strongest decision on climate change ever issued by any court.” The most promising part? Young activists sparked this decisive ruling.

Judge Kathy Seely, who ruled on this case, wrote of the position of the plaintiffs that they have “proven that as children and youth, they are disproportionately harmed by fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts.” The burden of climate change will fall on the youth of our country, and it is important that we listen to these voices. 

Activists are empowered by this decision, hoping that more rulings like this follow suit. According to Inside Climate News, “Most youth-led cases related to climate change have run into major hurdles in the U.S…with at least 14 youth-led lawsuits being dismissed by judges.” The Montana ruling sets a precedent that youth-led cases have merit and should be heard, and can result in real change.

Learn more about the decisions here: 


Negative Self-Talk in Adolescent Girls is Worse than Ever

Girls on the Run is here to help! 

According to recently released results from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, American teenage girls are experiencing unprecedented rates of anxiety and sadness. Every 3 out of 5 girls in America felt “persistently sad or hopeless” in 2021, an increase by 60% from 2011. Moira Donegan, a Guardian US columnist, asserts that the “mental health crisis among teen girls is an emergency, one that is worsening.” She challenges our country to give teenage girls “lives of prosperity and hopefulness” and at Girls on the Run Bay Area (GOTRBA), we strive to meet this goal. Our mission is to give adolescents the tools to establish supportive relationships, build their self confidence, and maintain a positive mindset. 

CDC director for adolescent and school health, Kathleen Ethier comments on the data released by her organization: “There is no question from this data that young people are telling us that they are in crisis.” What’s worse? She feels we aren't listening. Schools are currently one of the few places adolescents can receive mental health services, but school budgets are stretched and outside resources are expensive. GOTRBA offers a solution to help girls gain access to resources that help them cope with these negative feelings. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is one key way clinical psychologists address mental health problems. CBT teaches us how to recognize our negative or unhelpful thoughts and reinterpret them to steer us towards positive feelings and actions. 

At GOTRBA, our lessons establish ways we can address this “negative self-talk” using CBT concepts. During the course of our program, girls learn how to visualize their unhelpful thoughts as a cloud over their heads. Forming these thoughts into something recognizable in their brain helps them identify their worries and doubts. We then teach them strategies each week on how to activate their “starpower” and shine light, or reinterpret, these negative feelings in themselves and others into positive ideas, chasing the clouds away. Throughout the season, girls form a “toolbox” of strategies to help cope with their negative thoughts and feelings that they can tap into throughout their life.

Women Who Wow: Danielle Fuligni

Self-confidence is a core value here at Girls on the Run (GOTR). For Danielle Fuligni, it is what defines her work. Fuligni created MyGirl Coaching to teach her own daughters and now thousands of girls every year how to build their self-confidence. A bestselling author and ICF-certified professional coactive coach, Fuligni attests that the “first step…in [her own] confidence journey was volunteering for Girls on the Run.”

Cate Peters: My Girls on the Run Journey

This season, my fellow coach told me that coaches get just as much out of the Girls on the Run (GOTR) lessons as the girls do. Reflecting on my three years as a junior coach for GOTR, I realized how much the program impacted my journey. It is designed to equip girls with a “GOTR toolbox” full of strategies to help them succeed, and though I was teaching my team these lessons, I was also applying them to myself as I navigated high school.