Girls on the Run is an after-school program empowering participants to recognize their inner strength, make new friends, build confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique. Renown recently gave Libby Booth a significant grant for the program (along with five other Washoe County schools). Here are some of the results.
“The girls here at Libby Booth have a lot of challenges,” acknowledged Megan Heaps, Girls On The Run-Sierras coach and teacher at Libby Booth Elementary School. “This program for our school was a perfect fit for our girls — that self esteem, that camaraderie, having great role models.”
A community partner to Renown Health, the 10-week Girls On The Run program concludes with all participants completing a celebratory 5k event. Volunteers train with the girls to help them reach their running goals and also teach lessons to build strength of character, create positive connections and grow more confident.
Watch: Girls on the Run is More Than Exercise
Participant Angelique Mendoza says her life has changed since completing Girls On The Run. “At school, my teacher would call on me and I wouldn’t have an answer, but sometimes I would and I was too shy to raise my hand, but now at school I raise it,” she explained.
Another participant, Lexie Orozco, had physical as well as confidence issues to overcome. She was born with epidermolysis bullosa, which is a fragility of the skin that causes blistering and tearing of the skin from any friction. Lexie was new to Libby Booth and had few friends until she joined Girls On The Run. With determination, she completed the 5k run this fall at Bartley Ranch through a combination of riding in her wheelchair and walking to the finish line.
The Girls On The Run program at Libby Booth was possible through a $275,000 grant from Renown Health, which is also funding it at five other Title 1 at-risk schools in Washoe County.
In 2015, Girls on the Run celebrated serving its one millionth girl, and this year it is celebrating its 20th birthday. For more information, visit www.girlsontherunsierras.org