Empowered to Lead: How Girls on the Run-DC Inspired a Daughter and Her Father
Girls on the Run-DC (GOTR-DC) inspires girls in 3rd-8th grade to become joyful, healthy, and confident. The lessons our girls learn extend beyond our afterschool program. Girls use them for years to come in and out of the classroom. Families, friends, and communities are strengthened because of GOTR-DC. Here’s what one parent said about his daughter’s participation last year:
“My daughter is in the program for the first time, and I got involved by coaching. My initial hope was that we could get the girls outside, enjoying it, and get them to really focus on not tearing each other down verbally at this age; 3rd – 5th grade, it is important.
What I like about the program is that it speaks in the language of girls to a large extent. The sharing sessions have been great and have gotten the girls to open up and expand their vocabulary. I forgot as a kid you don’t always have much of a vocabulary. For example, when we introduced negative self-talk, none of the girls had heard of negative self-talk. Then when we explained it, they knew exactly what we were talking about. It’s that comfort talking about themselves, and comfort with that vocabulary, that will help them heading into 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade.
For me, it’s made me closer to my daughter. I think she’s got more confidence and she's able to see that I'm not just the guy in the living room. The unique thing is I never had a parent coach me, but I can imagine the impact it has on her with seeing me show up, being accountable.I know that she is absorbing that even if she’s not conscious of it -- she'll remember that down the road. When I am an old man that is what I will remember. I will remember the past doesn't matter and what matters is today. I’ll give myself a break that I didn't have A+ parents and not judge them.
I really believe that my daughter is changing and feeling empowered to lead. She is a balance between shy and outgoing, and if she gets comfortable she’ll continue being outgoing. But if not, she’ll stay shy. Her mom and I are able to watch her be out front and leading. The other day, she was leading a cheer spontaneously, and I don't think she would have done that a year ago -- it was pretty moving.”