United for 60: Girls on the Run

For 60 years, United Way of Southern Nevada has empowered the nonprofit organizations working to make our community a better place. One such organization is Girls on the Run, which helps girls from 3rd-8th grade lead healthier lives and be inspired to reach their own potential. Coaches share their stories about how Girls on the Run curriculum and programming connects with girls facing challenges in at-risk environments. The program is for ALL girls, but these particular young women facing great hardship rely on coaches and curriculum to help them feel supported, inspired and motivated to unleash the power that is deep within to activate their limitless potential.

​“One of the girls this season has both parents incarcerated.  She is living with her grandma, and has expressed the pain of living without her parents at this time.  She misses them so much.  She especially misses her mom who she only gets to speak to a couple times a week, and if she is not home to receive the call, she has to wait even longer.  Building relationships with the other girls on the team is helping her cope.  She expresses herself more easily each time, and during the lesson of activating her star power, she said that she is happy and that she will lift herself up when she is feeling down.  She is finding ways to let her star power shine even though she is going through so much personally.”

 ”Another girl on the team, who is in her third season, has become more outgoing and confident with each season.  It really shows me how building on the skills through more than one season helps to embrace the lessons, the skills, and goals set forth in the Girls on the Run curriculum.  The processing component of each activity allows the girls to make those connection to the lesson, and in the case of this girl in her third season, allows her to make a deeper connection since she has had those prior experiences.”

“The other day at recess two of the girls from Girls on the Run were together.  One was feeling sad about an incident that happened with another student.  She was called a name, was upset, and was sitting by herself.  The other girls from the Girls on the Run saw her and went over.  I also went over as I was on recess duty at the time.  I didn't have to say a word.   I simply listened to their conversation, talking about blowing her clouds away, letting her star power shine through, and that they were happy there was Girls on the Run that afternoon.”  

 ”Many of the girls are reading below grade level and struggle academically due to many factors.  Girls on the Run provides them with an outlet emotionally, physically, and simply put they have fun!  It is fun for them to be a part of Girls on the Run.  They have set goals and are excited to meet them and exceed them.  We are providing opportunities for them to be successful, when oftentimes, they don't feel successful in school.”