During Sunday dinner my husband and I told our children all of the reasons we love America and why we’re so grateful we’re citizens. I felt so patriotic telling my family how blessed we are: we live in a safe, nice city, we can practice the religion of our choice, our children can receive an excellent public education, we live in a beautiful country with national parks to preserve nature, and *we can create and live our dreams!*
In honor of America this week, we will share with you stories of a few inspiring American women who are living their dreams and how they are making a difference.
The first woman we would like to honor is Molly Barker, the founder of Girls on The Run , a 501 c(3) non-profit organization, whose mission is to “educate and prepare girls for a life-time of self-respect and healthy living.” I personally feel drawn to and inspired by Molly because I have just discovered a love for running myself and have overcome some fixed beliefs regarding exercise in this way. I will be running in my first 5k on 4th of July. I understand exactly how running instills self-confidence. When I finish my training I feel ready for anything…I have achieved my goal, I can only imagine how young girls must feel as they prepare for and finish a race. I am thrilled about Girls on The Run and look forward to introducing it to my daughters as they get older.
Their organization empowers girls to feel good about themselves and run for fun. Molly developed Girls on The Run using her expertise in counseling and teaching along with research on adolescent issues, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The innovative, experiential program combines training for a 5k event with life-changing self-esteem enhancing lessons that enhance social, physical and mental health in 8 â€“ 12 year old girls.
In Today’s Mama’s interview they asked Molly what motivated her to keep going with her dream to start and develop Girls on The Run:
Having my own two children was and continues to be the motivation for what I do. Once I became a mother, I simply could not look at the world’s children without feeling an inherent and strong need to nurture. Every time my children (11 and 8 years old) make a wise decision OR make one that isn’t so wise, but learn from it, I am reminded that the work I am doing is impacting the world…at multiple levels, personally and globally.
Her Next Big Dream:
To leave this world, knowing that Girls on the Run is accessible to ALL girls and has become a global rite of passage for every 8 to 11 year old girl.
Today, there are Girls on the RunÂ® programs in over 150 cities across North America, with tens of thousands of girls and women participating. In 2007, Girls on the RunÂ® will host over 70 end-of-season 5k events across the United States and Canada. In 2006, Molly was the recipient of several prestigious national awards including Redbook magazineâ€™s â€œStrength and Spirit Awardâ€ which recognizes individuals who are building a better future for all of us, the â€œWomanâ€™s Day Awardâ€ from Womanâ€™s Day magazine which salutes individuals who have used their vision and heart to help fix pressing problems and the highly prestigious â€œHeroes of Running Awardâ€ from Runnerâ€™s World magazine.