Volunteer Spotlight: CUNY Summer Corps

As our summer wraps up, we want to highlight our CUNY Summer Corps and thank them for the tremendous work they accomplished during their time at Girls on the Run. Arean, Kayla, Pharlande, Simcha, and Sophia - you rock!

Read about their experiences with Girls on the Run NYC and working in our Brooklyn-based office here, including what they each would want to tell their 4th grade self!

Sophia

What do you wish to tell your 4th grade self? 

I would tell my 4th grade self that trusting yourself is the golden rule for maintaining and establishing continued confidence in oneself. Admiring other girls is great, but you can only become greater once you realize the girl staring back  in the mirror is just as great as anyone else. Once you have established this, the journey to success becomes as easy as following your passion.

Why is the Girls on the Run mission important to you ? 

The GOTR mission is important to me because I have had the privilege of participating in this organization as both a volunteer and a coach, thus granting me the opportunity to watch our mission values come to life with every girl that we have watched complete the 5K and feel great about themselves. Our mission having come to life and helping our girls just demonstrates my faith in our organization and our impact on the lives of our girls, who will no doubt be the future leaders of our society. 

How has physical activity made an impact in your life ? 

Physical activity has been a pillar in my life ever since I started dancing at the age of 4, subsequently becoming my job when I got older. Without physical activity, many people would not feel as confident as they are, and I am glad that GOTR understands the value of physical activity on the well-being of our girls.  

What have you learned while interning at GOTR?

In my year long internship at GOTR, I have learned a lot about office job experiences, as well as the challenges and successes that a women led nonprofit encounters, which has proven to be a fascinating experience for me to continue being apart of. The devotion of 5 women, and a team of selfless volunteers and coaches has impressed me and continue to inspire me to  work towards all of my goals in life. GOTR has benefited me through the opportunities encountered through my time here, as I have been able to represent GOTR at numerous events, understand the complex nature of the DOE and NYC Public Schools, and most importantly, continuing to learn about how to continue growing as a woman in a city as great and diverse as NYC.

Pharlande

What do you wish you could tell your 4th grade self?

I would tell my 4th grade self that you should be ready to be challenged by the world, but not let the challenge strip you of compassion, determination, and confidence in the ability to follow your dreams in unapologetic fashion to no one but yourself. 

Why is the GOTR mission important to you? 

For me, the mission of GOTR is about the ideals of women empowerment that arises from the core values present within the GOTR mission values. The core values allow for girls to grow both as women and members of society, the likes that will be in charge of the future and making a difference for the betterment of society. 

How has physical activity made an impact in your life? 

Physical activity has always been a love of mine as I find nothing but joy when I am out and about exercising. I feel so healthy and happy when I am exercising, as it helps calm me during times of heightened stress, instills confidence within myself to keep pushing forward with any task I have, and maintaining not only my physical health, but my mental health too. 

What have you learned while interning at GOTR?

While interning at GOTR, I have learned about the importance of our mission to the girls and how our commitment to them is helping establish a successful future for them. The mission values and lesson plans we offer to the girls is evident of the passion and care we have for our girls, and I could not be prouder to be on such an exemplifying team of excellence. 

Simcha

What do you wish you could tell your 4th grade self  

I would tell my 4th grade self to be more active among school and my community, such as attending field trips, participating in sports, and giving back to those less fortunate than I. There are many opportunities to be attained, but they will only happen if you take the first step into the unknown. The first step can be scary, but you have to remember to not be afraid because failure is a pit stop on the road to success. 

Why is the GOTR mission important to you? 

The GOTR mission is important to me because as a child I felt that the education I received from school was based mostly in textbooks and not enough on life skills. GOTR provides girls with the adequate life skills that they will need in their life, and it is important that we continue to strive for only the best in regards to our girls. 

How has physical activity made an impact in your life ? 

Physical activity has made a great impact on my life as exercising makes me feel great throughout the day, productive, and an overall healthier person. 

What have you learned while interning at GOTR?

While interning at GOTR, I have learned about the immeasurable value of hard work and support that goes into building a future for our next generation, while also realizing that our actions have impacts that are necessary if we are to make a difference in the world. While my work allowed me to gain insight into how an office functions, I was also granted the opportunity to engage in community coalition building, and for that I am thankful. 

Arean

What do you wish you could tell your 4th grade self? 

I would tell my 4th grade self that real friends will accept you for who you are, regardless of your outside appearances. To go about and change yourself into a version that is not true to your character simply to appease others is not how real friendships are built. Real friends support and build one another so that they can all be successful in wherever life may take them. 

Why is the GOTR mission important to you? 

The GOTR mission is important to me because I believe that the future depends on the present that we have built for our children, and if the present is devoid of confidence, healthy lifestyles, and lack of curiosity, then we have failed the future. At GOTR, we are actively providing a better future for our children by instilling within them core values that will help them attain their maximum potential for the future, thus succeeding in providing a better tomorrow. 

How has physical activity made an impact in your life? 

Physical activity has impacted my life because the sport of basketball instilled within me a fearless demeanor to tackle any challenge at hand, regardless of how futile my attempt may seem to be. Additionally, sports have been a source of inspiration to me to achieve more in my life, pushing me to not underestimate myself, nor the adversaries I may encounter throughout life.  

What have you learned while interning at GOTR?

While interning at GOTR, I have learned that it takes a team of hardworking, motivated, and selfless leaders to accomplish great achievements and raise the bar for excellence higher. I have learned what it truly means to be on a team, surrounded by individuals who are all motivated by a common goal to flourish not just themselves, but everyone who is ready and willing to make a difference within our community. 

Kayla

What do you wish you could tell your 4th grade self? 

I would tell my 4th grade self the importance of living in the moment and not worrying about being so quick to grow up because childhood is a precious moment that only happens once in life, therefore it is necessary to enjoy life and family to its maximum potential. 

Why is the GOTR mission important to you?

The GOTR mission is important to me because the pillars of the mission hit close to home for me due to the lack of women empowerment in our modern society and the effects this lack of empowerment has on our girls. GOTR changes this narrative and helps to uplift girls through necessary social and physical activity that encourages character and confidence growth. When our girls succeed, society succeeds as encourage the feeling of uplift from other women in life, and that is all it takes to make a difference.

How has physical activity made an impact in your life? 

I enjoy staying active, and although I have no favorite sport to participate in, I credit my time spent on track and field from 7th to 11th grade as my influence to achieve and sustain success in all of my work. Through track and field, I learned discipline, patience, commitment, and confidence in my abilities to succeed. I was fortunate enough to enjoy such an opportunity at my school, and I am grateful that I was able to attain so much from my 5 years as a member of the track team. 

What have you learned while interning at GOTR? 

My time at GOTR demonstrated to me that every action, no matter how insignificant it might seem, affects a larger outcome. The attention to detail, communication, and understanding of task are vital for the smooth execution of a program, as well as success. My time at GOTR has made me into an adaptable person that can handle various tasks at once, while also increasing my communication skills, exposure to the challenges of the nonprofit world, and understanding the value of every single person contributing to the organization, from the executive director, down to the custodian that keeps the office clean.

Thank you Sophia, Pharlande, Simcha, Arean, and Kayla! May the future hold nothing but success for you all! We know you are each ready to go out and activate your own limitless potential!

Interns from left to right: Sophia, Pharlande, Simcha, Arean, and Kayla

Interns from left to right: Sophia, Pharlande, Simcha, Arean, and Kayla


Spring 5K Recap

As we finish up our Spring season, we want to thank all our donors, participants, families, and girls who were a part of our program this year. Thank you for continuing to support us, and have a wonderful summer! Check out all of our spring season 5k photos here.

We will see you all for our Fall Season. Make sure you save the date to be at the Fall 5k on December 8!

Girls on the Run Featured on NBC New York: Building Confidence in the Bronx

Here at Girls on the Run NYC, we were excited to have Emmy Award winning news reporter John Chandler cover the work that we have done in the Bronx and highlight our mission for girls across the five boroughs. Thanks for visiting us, NBC New York!

SoleMate Spotlight: Kelsey Stokes

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Long time volunteer, Coach and SoleMate Kelsey joined our Team SoleMates this spring for the 2019 New York City Half Marathon. Read about her experience here:

Thinking back to race day: what was your favorite part of the race?

I loved the energy of the crowd when we came off the Manhattan Bridge and into Chinatown. The cheers and support - and, of course, the confetti cannons - really helped give me a little boost halfway through the race.

What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

I felt so many emotions when I crossed the finish line: elation, pride, a bit of relief. I was so excited to have surpassed both my SoleMates fundraising and race goals.

How did you prepare for race day?

I ran about 30-40 miles / week and did yoga and strength training regularly, as well. Weekly long runs were an opportunity for me to practice my race routine and make sure I had a clear sense of what would work for me on race day.

Why did you choose to run this race for Girls on the Run NYC?

Serving as a GOTR coach in the past made me appreciate just how meaningful each donation is. I knew as soon as I was accepted in the lottery that I wanted to race for GOTR NYC and raise money to support the program.

What is your #1 fundraising tip for other SoleMates?

Fundraising was far less intimidating than I had anticipated. Once you make the pitch, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to donate. Start early, get creative and make it personal.

At Girls on the Run, we envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. What does this vision mean to you?

To me, the GOTR vision is about setting big goals, believing in yourself and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise.

Tell us: what’s your favorite running route?

My favorite long run route is along the Brooklyn waterfront: from Williamsburg, to the Navy Yard, through DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park, down to Red Hook and back.

Congratulations and thank you, Kelsey!

SoleMate Spotlight: Kelly Coddington

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SoleMate Kelly joined our team for the 2019 New York City Half Marathon this March - and we’re excited to shine a spotlight on her!

Thinking back to race day: what was your favorite part of the race?

The experience of running my first race through NYC. This was the first time I’ve ran in the city and being so close, (New Jersey) I cannot believe I have not run a NYC race sooner!

What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

How proud of myself I was. I pushed myself this race and finished with my best half marathon time to date.

Why did you choose to run this race for Girls on the Run NYC?

I wanted to see how I would do in a NYC race! It was much different than the races I have done. I also wanted to experience running in a race with thousands of other people. It was great seeing how many different people were there! I also wanted to support Girls on the Run and raise funds!

At Girls on the Run, we envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. What does this vision mean to you?

Each girl should feel comfortable in her own skin. She should feel strong and know that she can take on anything that comes her way.

Congratulations and thank you, Kelly!