"Empowerment" Photo Essay Winner - Sailor Ward!

Congratulations to Sailor Ward for winning the "What empowers you to pursue your dreams" photo/essay contest.  The audience voted and selected Sailor as the winner of the $200 prize.  Although a shortened version of her full essay was submitted in the contest, we promised we'd publish it in it's entirity.  Please enjoy these hard through out words from Sailor, and some additionally submitted photos.

Thanks to all the wonderful girls that also submitted to the contest listed below.  You can read/see their submissions here.  

Essay #1 - Rosemary Wright
Essay #2 - Carly Ching
Essay #3 - Nora Blamires
Essay #5 - Kirsy Cambell
Essay #6 - Marina Vercilli
Essay #7 - Hadley Walker
Essay #8 - Elena Salas
Essay #9 - Catherine Corona
Essay #10 - Jillian

My name is Sailor Ward and as an alumni of GOTR, I was given a great foundation to search for and discover my passions. I have always been provided with tremendous support from my parents but through my own journey of discovery, I have uncovered what truly EMPOWERS me. Having faced many personal and heart breaking challenges in recent years, I lacked the ability to understand and overcome these challenges. Since I was very young, I have always had an undeniable interest in horses and have always found their strength, beauty and power to be extremely admirable. It wasn’t until I acquired my own horse that I realized how EMPOWERING this relationship could be. My horse Indi and I have an unconditional, yet mutual respecting relationship, that has shown me how amazing and important self worth is. This relationship has developed through many hours of time spent, training, riding and learning to understand one another. We have developed an incredible relationship based on shared trust, respect and honesty. He and I also have an unspoken language that allow us to communicate through body language. I have gained an enormous amount of confidence and self worth knowing what the two of us can accomplish together. Fear and uncertainty have been replaced with self-assurance and motivation. I now possess the ability to take what I have learned through this invaluable kinship and apply it to my own personal relationships, my community and out in the world. I now feel that I can not only attempt but conquer what lies ahead. Nothing could be more empowering to me than knowing in my heart and soul, that through hard work and perseverance, I can accomplish anything!
— Sailor Ward
sailor indi upclose.jpeg
sailor indi kiss.JPEG

"What Empowers You" Photo/Essay Contest Entries

The following entries can be voted on by liking the entry on Facebook (link included here) or at Lunafest.  The winner will be announced at Lunafest Friday, Nov. 3rd.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #1: Rosemary Wright

22861621_338320759973816_7503648203229097478_o.jpg

Keep Pushing Forward

Most people say girls can’t do all the things that guys can do, but the truth is girls are just as capable and tough as guys, maybe even more tough! When I am having a good day and go out for a run, I feel like I can conquer the world! Running has taught me a lot of discipline. That being said, if I set my mind to do something by a certain date, I will. But sometimes that means putting the goal you're focused on conquering before hanging out with your friends, riding your horse, skiing, or being on social media (etc..). For example, I took up photography when I was about twelve, stuck with it, and now I’ve had my photos published three times just this year! So girls remember no matter what someone tells you, keep your head up and keep pushing forward because you WILL make it through!

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #2: Carly Ching

CarlyChing.jpeg

What empowers me to achieve my dreams is dance. Anything I’ve ever come across in my life that has troubled me, dance has been there as my release. My toe brushes the floor and releases back for an arabesque, I can see myself on stage, 10 years from now performing my favorite repertoire from Giselle, the scene where she reappears as a ghost, dead from a broken heart. Ironically enough though the heartbreak of the scene, the dancer is at her debut and the happiest point in that solo. During every arabesque, I aspire to actually get to that stage.

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #3: Nora Blamires

NoraBlamires.JPG

January 21, 2017 Boise Women’s March

Several students and two teachers from the Sage School drove to the Capitol Building. There was snow in the air and slush puddles on the ground. Despite the lousy weather, thousands of people gathered to march. After walking a bit, I took out my camera and snapped some photos of people around me with umbrellas and signs in hand and smiles on their faces. At the end of the march I stood on a wall with a perfect view of a woman using her sign “Embrace Hope” as a shield from the wet snow.

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #4: Sailor Ward

sail indi selfie.JPG

Through my own journey of discovery, I have uncovered what truly EMPOWERS me. Having faced heart breaking challenges, I lacked the ability to understand and overcome them. When I acquired a horse, I realized how EMPOWERING this relationship could be. Indi and I have an unconditional, yet mutual respecting relationship, that has shown me how amazing and important self worth is. Our relationship developed through many hours of time spent training, riding and learning to understand each other that includes shared trust, respect and honesty. He and I also have an unspoken language that allows us to communicate through body language. I have gained an enormous amount of confidence and self worth knowing what the two of us can accomplish together. I now feel that I can not only attempt, but conquer what lies ahead.

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #5: Kirsy Campbell

KirsyCampbell.JPG

What empowers me most as a woman is simple. Other women! I am so happy that I am influenced by such amazing girls who are doing what they love and chasing their dreams. I am deeply inspired when I see others pushing each other to be their best selves. As a member of the Sun Valley Cross Country Ski Team, I am surrounded by a strong group of girls pushing me to be the best I can. Their efforts and dedication to their sport and life motivate me to do the same. This picture puts a big smile on my face, because it reminds me of an amazing day having fun in the mountains with my friends. I am lucky enough to ski with these two girls, who are great ski racers. They push themselves, work incredibly hard, and have a lot of fun both on and off the trails.

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #6: Marina Vercilli

MarinaV.jpg

I've lived most my life believing that empowerment comes from an outside source. Until recently, maybe sophomore year, I found that my empowerment and the thing that gets me up everyday to follow my dreams is myself. I discovered that I will only ever want what is best for me, forever. Material things, and people come and go. They are a huge part in the support we need but at the end of the day, you are your biggest critic and you must live in a way that makes YOU happy and feel in control. I believe that is what empowerment is, especially as a young woman. We must understand that our dreams come from within us and we must show case this wonderful ability of ours to be our own hero. This will never go away. Love yourself and the world will love you.

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #7: Hadley Walker

HadleyWalker.JPG

EMPOWERING
Ice Skating empowers me because it is so fun and when I am lacing up my skates I see my friends and I cannot wait to go out and skate with them. When I am on the ice it feels like I have the most power in the world. When I spin I feel like I own the world. It feels so good when I stop because the sound is so powerful. It feels good when I am about to go on the ice because I have confidence to go out there and try hard to get better. I love the feeling of it.

Link to like on Facebook.

PHOTO/ESSAY ENTRY #8: Elena Salas

elena.JPG

What inspires me are both my kids. They made me grow as a person and a stronger mother. I love my kids and I will always be there for them. Just like my mother was there for me. Being a teen mom is very hard and stressful but also good in a way. There are times where you don't know what your daughter wants or why she is crying. Or there are times when you're far away from your kids father and you have to parent somewhat alone that makes it very stressful. But I always try to let all that stress go because my daughter doesn’t need to see me having a hard time and my little baby boy doesn't need the stress during my pregnancy anyway. Overall I am very proud of how far I’ve come and proud of being a mom to my wonderful kids. They inspire me to be a better person every day.

Link to like on Facebook

PHOTO/ESSAY #9:  Catherine Corona

Catherine.jpg

My strength is my baby, Matteo. He was born August 8,2017. Raising a child is not an easy thing to do. You can't get as much done as you want to. Matteo motivated me to come back to school and start my future. He motivates me to do well in school so I have a better future for myself and my family of three. Being a teenage mom and going to school is hard. I am glad I found myself where I am now. I wouldn't know what to do without Matteo. I got the support from my parents and still am. Having Matteo in my life is such a big blessing God gave us. I am a strong teenage mom after all I’ve gone through. He's the highlight of my life.

Link to like on Facebook

PHOTO/ESSAY #10:  Jillian

Jillian.jpg

Before the age of 15, I felt no obligations to pay attention to what was happening in any other country besides my own. By the age of 16, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to India and help those in need. Nearing age 17, my mind body and soul ache every single day to travel and dedicate myself to those who need it.  

Link to like on Facebook

Stand with Justice!

Stand with justice.jpeg

Justice’s Commitment: Together we’re on a mission to inspire every girl to chase her dreams. Justice has committed to donate at least $1.1 Million to Girls on the Run by December 31, 2019. Help us reach that commitment. Tween Brands, Inc. will donate 10% of the purchase price of each product sold in the Girls Run This collection to Girls on the Run International, Inc., Click here to see & purchase from this inspiring collection!

"What empowers you to pursue your dreams" photo/essay contest

What or who empowers you to pursue your dreams?  Submit a photo you personally took, along with a 100 word essay about how the photo represents what empowers you to pursue your dreams.  Submit by posting your photo and essay on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #GOTRempower, post directly to our Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valle facebook page, or email them to info@girlsontherunwrv.org. The deadline is October 30, 2017.  The winner will win $200 Visa gift card and be featured at Lunafest! Be sure to set your photo to be viewed publicly. 

2016 winner Cierra Blackstock:

"My name is Ciera Blackstock, what empowers me as a woman is to follow my dreams. I grew up with my parents telling me I don’t need anyone to depend on in my life, and both of them combined have taught me so many things to stand on my own.  Realistically, I could’ve been on my own since I was 5. I am strong and independent and I won’t let anyone make out to be any less.  I feel empowered because I know that my body can take me places.  I push myself to be the best in workouts and in creating hands-on products.  This picture is from a hike I went on behind my house.  I like seeing new things on the hikes I go on and when I hike looking back on my achievement, I feel empowered. I feel like this picture represents my empowerment.  I know I can persevere on my own with any challenge that is thrown my direction."  

Essay2.JPG

 

A Girls on the Run Coach Perspective - by Angi Hunter

15037267_10154355892254807_4329264990452801551_n.jpg

What inspired you to want to coach, and what kept that spark going during the season?

“I've always enjoyed running for the physical and mental benefits. I started a running club with my boys in TX so when we moved to Hailey last year, I was looking for a way to get involved with introducing kids to Running. I found GOTR to be a great place to do this here in the valley. “

What did you like most about being a coach?

I love sharing the curriculum with the girls. The content is spot on for introducing important topics that many already had experience with. And when they didn't, it allowed them to experience through others and lay a foundation for when those topics do present in their individual lives. I also just love being another positive force for them to count on. To believe in them when they don't believe themselves. 

What is a favorite coaching moment for you?

“Our group was a smaller group so I was fortunate to have a lot of interaction with each of the girls each time we met. I think seeing each of their unique abilities shine during the course of the program was my favorite. You really got a sense of who they were as an individual and what strengths they brought to the group and to themselves.”

New coach training is coming up on Wednesday September 6th. For more information about coaching during this spring season of Girls on the Run visit www.girlsontherunwrv.org/coaching

New Study Demonstrates that Girls on the Run Transforms Young Girls’ Lives

Why it matters (1).png

Adolescence is a challenging time for girls.  Self-confidence and physical activty levels drop while at the same time peer relationships become more complicated.  Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development (PA-PYD) program that is designed to enhance girls' social, psychological and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experience.

Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Recently, leading youth development expert Dr. Maureen Weiss, University of Minnesota, conducted an independent study to evaluate the effectiveness of Girls on the Run in promoting positive outcomes.  She compared Girls on the Run participants to girls in the same grade who had never participated in Girls on the Run.  In addition, she followed girls in Girls on the Run from pre- to post-season to three months beyond the season to determine if season-long improvements were maintained after lessons ended.

The results were truly remarkable.

Dr. Weiss' study showed the program is effective in driving transformative change in the lives of young girls, making an even stronger impact on girls who were lower in confidence and other important attributes at the start of the season.  97% of girls said they learned critical life skills in Girls on the Run, including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others or making intentional decisions that they are using at home, at school and with their friends.  Compared to girls participating in organized sports and physical education, Girls on the Run makes a stronger impact in teaching these life skills that will benefit them no and in the future.

Learn more about the Girls on the Run Longitudinal Study here.

Increased Activity.png

Color Me Fearless 5k FAQ

The first Saturday each June, Girls on the Run hosts the Color Me Fearless 5k as a program ending event that is open to the whole community and helps to raise funds for our program.  Here are some common questions and things to think about when being a participant in the Color Me Fearless 5k:

Q: What is the "Color Me" part of the 5k?
A: There are paint stations at the start/finish and each mile in between.  The paint is food grade colored corn starch.  

2017 Race Course - Moved from Heagle Park this year because of the flooding.

2017 Race Course - Moved from Heagle Park this year because of the flooding.

Q: How will I get painted?
A:  You'll be given a personal cup of paint at the start line, to either throw up in the air at the start of the race, or feel free to "paint" yourself or a friend while you wait to begin.  Then at each mile during the race, volunteers will be throwing paint at your body (as much as humanly possible).  If you'd like a shot to the head - please point at your head so your volunteers will do as instructed!

Q: Who can throw paint?
A: Our volunteers have been hand selected and given special instructions on how to safely throw the paint.  Outside of your personal cup of paint at the start, please don't attempt to jump into the paint throwing line, or allow your kids to join in.  

Q: What if I don't want to get painted?
A: At the start you may want to hang in the back until the dust settles.  At the paint stations on the course, simply run around them.  We want everyone to have fun enjoying a 5k event and their on personal comfort level! 

Q: Does the paint stain?
A: It won't permanently stain your clothing, but may make a white shirt once washed not so white any more.  The best thing to do before leaving the venue so not to trail all of the paint into your car or home, is to brush a much as you can off while you're dry. 

Q: I registered online, now what?
A: You can pick up your bib at KB's in Hailey from 3-7 p.m., or race morning under the "pre-registered" banner.  

Q: What is included in my entry?
A: A race t-shirt and bib will be provided at check-in.  Proceed to the start line to pick up your personal cup of paint.  When you finish, there will be some light snacks including Chobani yogurt, and water to enjoy.

Q: Will there be water on the course?
A: We will have some initial water at the 1st mile mark, more at the 2nd, and lots at the park finish.

Q: I saw a photographer on course... how do I get photos?
A: That's our Smiley's Mountain Photo photographer.  He will have them available to view and purchase online at here.

Q: Who are all the girls in Girls on the Run shirts or pink Girls on the Run capes?
A: We have teams up and down the Wood River Valley and from Carey that have come to complete the 5k event as the season ending goal of the Girls on the Run experience.  Many of them are running their very first 5k!  So if you see one of these girls on the course, be sure to cheer her on, as she might need the encouragement!  

Q: How can help to motivate these girls in the future?
A: We are always looking for volunteer coaches to help guide them through the season.  it's a twice a week commitment for 10-weeks in the spring or fall.  For more information visit our COACH INFO page for upcoming training and season dates.

Q: There were teams of people participating in the race.  What was that about?
A: We have the opportunity for organizations or businesses to enter teams of 5 into the race.  We will be capturing a team cheer prior to the race and promoting them in our social networks for people to vote for the "Best Spirit" award.  The teams that will will receive COOL prizes.  So if you have a team you want to enter (whether for a business or as a group/family) please consider this next year.  The cost is a bit more than regular registration, but we want to showcase your team to our supporters, give you some extra benefits (like upgrade to a technical t-shirt), and a chance to win some prizes.  Here's some information about signing up as a CORPORATE TEAM entry or other sponsorship opportunities that can include a team entry.

Q: Will you be timing the racers?
A: In true Girls on the Run spirit, we celebrate everyone's personal best effort and don't believe in honoring only the fastest racers.  But with that said, we know we all have personal goals and would like to know how close we get to reaching them.  We will have a timing clock at the finish line that you can see where you came in for your finishing time!

Q; What else is happening in conjunction to the race?
A: Be sure to stay around after the race to enjoy live music by local band Haywire Hopefuls, bring a few extra bucks for lunch by KB's or to enjoy Bubble Ball, or send your kids to the free bouncy house.  We will have other vendors offering services, fun and information.  

Q: Where should we park for the race?
A:  If you live near the course or somewhere in Hailey, we recommend you ride your bike or walk to reduce congestion.  We will have parking blocked near the race start, but there are lots of side streets leading up to the park where you can park your car.  DO NOT park in the empty lots in the Cutter's subdivision.

Q: Any other recommendations to enjoy the race?
A: Come dressed up, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, jump into our warm up song that will start at 9:50.  

Girls on the Run participant reflects on the impact of the program

GOTR Director Mary Fauth with past program participants Vanessa Martinez, Josie Zamora, Sienna Miley and Michelle Casas giving younger 5k participants an energy award!

GOTR Director Mary Fauth with past program participants Vanessa Martinez, Josie Zamora, Sienna Miley and Michelle Casas giving younger 5k participants an energy award!

Working with the open hearted volunteers that come to Girls on the Run is rewarding in it’s own sense.  Watching them learn about the depth of relationship they are about to embark on with our 8, 9, and 10 year old girls, then to see it unfold through the 10-week experience, makes witnessing the culminating 5k event between coach and girl a precious memory I get to see hundreds of times throughout the years.  They are planting seeds, such as GOTR participant Michelle Casa shares below.

Joining Girls On the Run in elementary school was one of the best decisions I made in life. Not only was it a great way to get out and get active, but I also learned about confidence and self-worth. I learned about making positive decisions, standing up for myself, and standing up for others. Most importantly, I learned about treating other girls with respect and seeing their worth, rather than seeing them as competition like so many girls do today. I am forever grateful for the opportunity given to me in elementary school because without having a coach and other girls pushing me to get out of my comfort zone in a supportive and positive environment at an early age, I never would have gone on to do many of the things I do today.

Join us this spring as a coach, as a Girl on the Run, or as a participant in our community-wide Color Me Fearless 5k on June 3rd!  For more information: www.girlsontherunwrv.org.
 

A Girls on the Run coach perspective by Shari Kunz

"I have had many highlights in my life, but coaching Girls on the Run will always be one of my favorites. Looking into the eyes of girls with their whole lives ahead of them, and knowing you get to be a part of the wonder of their being, is something that forever stays with you. The beauty of being a part of this program is that in wanting to give and share with these girls, you come away with the girls having given and shared with you. And what you have given to one another lasts a lifetime. Come discover your own potential while helping girls discover their own...what are you waiting for?" ~ Coach & GOTRWRV Founder Shari Kunz

Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington 

Now Accepting Applications for Youth Board Members

2.jpg

Are you a youth (or do you know one) that would like to embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness?

Do you nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health?

Do you believe in standing up for ourselves and others, while expressing joy, optimism and gratitude through your words, thoughts and actions?

Would you like to help us lead with an open heart and impact other young girls' lives in the Wood River Valley?

Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for one youth to serve a 1-year term on our Board of Directors. Applications will be accepted through April 15th and the term will run from May until June of 2018. Youth in grades 9-11 are welcome to submit their applications online.

A Girls on the Run coach perspective - by Lindsey Williams

What was one thing that surprised you about being a coach?

As a GOTR coach I received the gift of insight into the girls' ideas, insecurities, aspirations, and genaeral wellness. Without genuine interaction like we have in Girls on the Run, we don’t get a real idea of what's going on in their worlds. They are each and every one fascinating and worth getting to know!

What is something you received from being a coach?

During my coaching experience I was surprised by how perceptive the girls are. At 9! When analyzing media, the girls very articulately described the true drivers that ads are designed around, such as the girls' wishes to 'fit in', 'be pretty', or 'have a perfect life'. They apply this same perception to everyone and everything they encounter, which made me behave more 'real' with them, because they would have seen right through anything else.

What is a favorite coaching moment for you?

There are so many moments from coaching that I love to reflect on. My favorite however was hearing my daughter Simone's essay about how GOTR inspired her to follow her dreams and when it was as the winner in a contest. Witnessing her take ownership of herself and her dreams is empowering, as her mother it was a special moment I will always treasure.

JOIN US THIS SPRING SEASON AS A GOTR COACH! For more information visit www.girlsontherunwrv.org/coaching

A Girls on the Run coach perspective - by Hannah Bauthues

What was one thing that surprised you about being a coach?

“I was nervous starting the program because I was not completely sure how to deal with that age group. Girls at that age are much more perceptive than I thought they were. They definitely listen and take more away from what you say than you might think.”

What is something you received from being a coach?

“An opportunity it's to give back to my community. Growing up, I had the privilege of having a role model and mentor and because I had such a strong role model in my younger years I saw GOTR as my chance to become that role model for someone else.”

What is a favorite coaching moment for you?

“During the practice 5k (while running with a girl that didn’t normally run during practices), she stayed right with me and lead the other girls. I told her I was impressed with her running capability. She said "I love to run!" and that she liked the feeling running gave her. She said she was nervous about middle school. I told her about the Heart and Sole program and other sports, and both were great options to meet people with similar interests. I hope to see her in the program again this spring so we can talk more.”

New coach training is coming up on Saturday March 11th. For more information about coaching during this spring season of Girls on the Run visit www.girlsontherunwrv.org/coaching

"What empowers you?" Photo/Essay Contest

What or who empowers you to pursue your dreams?  Submit a photo you personally took, along with a 100 word essay about how the photo represents what empowers you to pursue your dreams.  Submit by posting your photo and essay on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #GOTRempower, post directly to our Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valle facebook page, or email them to info@girlsontherunwrv.org. The winner will win $200 Visa gift card and be featured at Lunafest! Be sure to set your photo to be viewed publicly. 

2015 winner Gracie Peterson:

Wood River Valley native McKenna Peterson & her film "Shifting Ice+Changing Tides"

Wood River Valley native McKenna Peterson & her film "Shifting Ice+Changing Tides"

Photo credit: KT Miller

Photo credit: KT Miller

Youth board member for Girls on the Run Michelle Casas recently talked with Wood River Valley native McKenna Peterson about her film "Shifting Ice+Changing Tides".  A free screening is planned for Tuesday, March 15th at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Campus Auditorium.  It will also be featured at the Friday March 11th Backcountry Film Festival to be held in Ketchum.

MICHELLE: You and the rest of the women on your team really focused on limiting your environmental footprint and did so by sailing and climbing across the region.  Did it help you realize something particularly unexpected or surprising about climate change, the world around you, or even yourself? 

MCKENNA: Being immersed in nature and fostering a love and connection to the natural environment is what initially made me aware of the changing climate. While in Greenland - the effect that climate change is having on the world is more obvious than what I am used to seeing on a day to day basis here at home. Everything from talking with local villagers about how their weather patterns have shifted to not finding any sea ice where there was supposed to be sea ice opened our eyes a little. It was a reality check. The hardest part was the sailing, I had no sailing experience previous to the expedition. Learning to sail was very enjoyable - a new sport! 

MICHELLE: What did you hope to accomplish from this film?  

MCKENNA: The goal of the film is to bring awareness to the changing climate as well as promote female participation in outdoor activity. We wanted to show women (especially young women) that it is possible to dream big and make your dreams a reality. We had no clue what we were doing before this trip. It was a pipe dream and, together, we were able to figure it out and make it a reality. I also think it is important to show how we worked together as a team to make the expedition a success. We each played a role and it wouldn't have worked without the entire collective of the group. 

MICHELLE: Your expedition team was female led. Was there a specific reason for this? Do you think there was something unique about being surrounded by females who were passionate about the same things as you? 

MCKENNA: We were all fairly close friends going into the planning process. It took us over a year to plan and fundraise for the expedition and throughout that time we became a very tight knit group. We were all passionate about skiing and the environment previous to the expedition. Three of us participated in SheJumps Alpine Finishing School in 2012 which is where the idea originally sprouted. We all agreed that the way women work together in the mountains is different than what we had experienced working with men in the mountains. The female dynamic worked very well within our group and throughout the expedition. What we were doing was dangerous and difficult, I'm definitely grateful to have had 5 amazing women by my side. 

MICHELLE: How has being very involved in winter sports helped you feel more confident as woman?

MCKENNA: Being an athlete for my entire life has definitely helped shape my confidence; confidence in my body, my decision making, and my ability. Through sport I have experienced a wide range of obstacles, failures and successes. Learning to cope and adapt to what is thrown your way is an important life lesson. The people you meet and friendships that grow from sport and activity are uniquely special. My closest relationships are with old teammates or friends that I have made through skiing. 

MICHELLE: What would you say to young girls, who might be afraid of taking risks and exploring outside of their comfort zones? 

MCKENNA: Never back away from anything because you are afraid of failure. Go for it. Fail. Get back up and try again. Eventually, you will succeed. 

MICHELLE: How do you think that girls participating in the GOTR program can make a difference in their communities, or worldwide? 

MCKENNA: GOTR is a great opportunity for young girls to break out of their comfort zone and find inspiration. Whether that be in making new friends, realizing that they are capable, discovering a passion for running, or simply having fun; it's an avenue for growth. My little sister, Dylan, was lucky to participate in GOTR when she was younger and I know that it had a positive impact on her life. 

Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for Youth Advocate Board Members

Are you a youth that would like to embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness?

Do you nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health?

Do you believe in standing up for ourselves and others, while expressing joy, optimism and gratitude through your words, thoughts and actions?   

Would you like to help us lead with an open heart and impact other young girls' lives in the Wood River Valley?  

Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for one youth to serve a 1-year term on our Board of Directors.  Applications will be accepted through March 31 and the term will run from May until June of 2017.  Youth in grades 9-11 are welcome to submit their applications online.

New Coach Training Set for Saturday, March 12th -- We Need You!

New Coach Training Set for Saturday, March 12th -- We Need You!

"Coaching for Girls on the Run was a joy!  The girls were so full of energy and spunk - and I looked forward to seeing them each week. I was impressed by the lessons and organization of GOTR.  It was easy and fun to follow, and I felt prepared to share with the girls. Every week I was amazed at what they were capable of - it was neat to see how they solved problems, worked together and encouraged each other. Giving these girls the gift of my time actually blessed me more than I imagined it would.  They really have big dreams, think big and are able to make a big impact.