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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.

Celeste Ford

Celeste Ford is an inspirational entrepreneur and philanthropist. As the Founder, former CEO
and, now Board Chair of Stellar Solutions, an aerospace engineering company, she has ensured that customers' critical needs were met while empowering her employees to create their dream jobs. Ford founded Stellar Solutions in 1995 with the purpose of delivering high impact for a wide variety of aerospace clients. She also founded Stellar Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in the next generation of space entrepreneurs, in 2022.

In addition to her many accomplishments in the aerospace field, Celeste Ford is a leader in
philanthropy. Just a few years after starting Stellar, the Stellar Solutions Foundation
was established to create a vehicle for employees to support the causes they care about –each year, every employee gets $1000 to donate to the charity of their choice. In 2008, Celeste and her husband Kevin founded the Mirnahill Foundation in order to give back
to the community as a family. Mirnahill focuses on strategic giving with a mission to educate, empower, and inspire youth through sports and values of family, inclusion, and trust. The Ford family envisions a world where every child has access to safe, after-school athletics activities that promote healthy habits and essential life-long lessons, and supports organizations who are helping make that a reality. We thank the Mirnahill Foundation for their continued support and positive social impact in our community. Celeste Ford, and the Ford family inspire us to engage with our communities and lead with heart.

Suggestions Around Raising Girls With a Health Body Image

It’s no secret that a young girl’s family plays a crucial role in shaping their perceptions about their body and creating beauty standards: family attitudes about weight and body size are associated with  mental health problems and eating disorders. In today’s world, it’s even more important to approach these topics with grace and a plan to ensure that your child is set up to reach their full potential.

The Runner's Low: Dealing with Common Running Injuries

It’s no secret that running can be tough on the body: from the pounding of feet to the swinging of arms. At Girls on the Run, we always do specific Stretching and Strengthening exercises before we run to get our bodies ready to go for our workouts. Nevertheless, some injuries can be common when running. Keep reading to find out the most common injuries and what you can do to prevent them.