Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 19

together through team building activities. By embracing each
other's differences, the girls learn to stop viewing what makes them
different as a negative, and instead see that difference as something
to be proud of.
As concluded in the study by University of Minnesota professor
Maureen R. Weiss in her report on the longitudinal impact of the
Girls on the Run program, the program has been effective in helping
girls to develop lasting life skills, confidence, and character. The skills
and confidence the girls gain from participating in the program and
taking part in the lessons are not isolated to the program, the girls
have the ability to transfer these skills into other aspects of their
lives such as school or relationships with friends and family. Within
the Southwest Middle School Miss Miller has personally observed
significant growth and improvement in how the girls communicate
and interact with others in school and at home. Most notably, the
girls have more confidence, are more assertive, and are better able
to handle situations in and out of school. During the program, the
girls learn how to deal with conflict and problem solve on their own,
which can help them to have more positive relationships with their
friends and family. Furthermore, by teaching the girls better problem-solving skills, they will be better equipped to handle the stresses
and challenges that continue to arise as they move through school.
Girls on the Run also does not only help those who participate in
the program, it is able to touch all the people the participants interact
with. The curriculum of Girls on the Run is taught in a way that the
girls learn to utilize the skills they are taught and to act as leaders
who can spread their positive energy to those around them. Miss
Miller reported having seen the students who did not participate in
the program "feed off some of [the girls] positive energy." In other
words, the Girls on the Run curriculum does not solely benefit those
who partake in the program, but also impacts students not involved
as those who are in the program act as leaders to those they socialize
with. In this way, Girls on the Run has a bit of vector effect to help
create a more positive community.
Throughout the Girls on the Run program the girls form close
bonds with each other and their coaches, which helps to strengthen the
lessons for the girls as they begin to trust and believe in one another.
A huge part of the Girls on the Run curriculum is empowerment
and teaching the girls that they are able to accomplish whatever they
set their minds to, so when the girls cross the finish line at the 5K,
they are doing just that. They are accomplishing their goal - giving
them a special moment that Miss Miller describes as her favorite
memory. Seeing the girls cross the finish line at the end of the 5K
is her favorite memory because "crossing the finish line is symbolic
for them crossing over into becoming a young adult who is strong,
confident, and more powerful and influential than she knows."
Throughout the course of training, the coaches facilitate the formation of an environment that leads to the girls feeling that they are a
part of a team which becomes a support system of encouragement
for the girls to empower each other, which is evident to everyone
as the girls come together at the conclusion of the 5K to celebrate
their team accomplishment. Girls on the Run is a unique program
that helps girls grow into strong young women who know they are
capable of accomplishing anything. n

"Crossing the finish line is
symbolic for them crossing over
into becoming a young adult
who is strong, confident, and
more powerful and influential
than she knows." - Coach Cory Miller

Coach Cory Miller

berkswomen2women.com 19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Fall 2017

Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 1
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 2
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 3
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 4
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