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Full Circle GOTR Star Power Story: GOTR Girl to NYC SoleMate

Jocelyn joined the Girls on the Run NYC 2023 NYC Marathon SoleMates team this year and will be running her FIRST marathon! She is one of our many SoleMates, who have been working hard to train for the race and raise funds for the Girls on the Run mission.

Jocelyn has an extra connection to GOTR as a past program participant. During the 8th grade, she participated in Heart & Sole and now is giving back to the girls in the NYC community as a SoleMate. “I was a part of girls on the run growing up and I want to provide that opportunity for others!”. 

She shared her first experience with running was with Girls on the Run. “My middle school had announced that they would bring GOTR to our school in the spring of 2015. I was in 8th grade and knew this would be my last chance to participate so I asked my mom to sign me up.” 

From her experience, Jocelyn remembers the confidence she gained, the life skills she learned, and the friendships she built. “Throughout the program I learned not just how to run but I learned life skills that I still carry with me today. I learned to love myself and my body. Additionally, I was taught the importance of being a team player as we took turns cheering each other on. But most importantly I learned to be confident in myself regardless if I finished first, last, or somewhere in between."

Each GOTR season ends with a celebratory 5K event - providing participants of all abilities an opportunity to celebrate the season and a tangible sense of accomplishment. When Jocelyn participated in her first 5K she remembers the excitement she felt. “The Girls on the Run 5K was my first ever race. My grandma flew halfway across the country to watch me run. Her and my mother cheered me on the whole way! My mom even ran on the side with me during my last mile. It was so special to have my grandma with me. My grandmother and I were kindred spirits so it meant the world to me to have her there with me when I crossed the finish line.” 

Jocelyn Holmes 4 (1)

The lasting impact of Jocelyn’s GOTR experience led her to join the GOTR SoleMates team for this year’s NYC Marathon. Jocelyn noted, “signing on to run my first marathon it only made sense to partner with GOTR. It really is a full circle moment and I couldn’t be more thankful for GOTR for always providing me with opportunities to better myself. My grandmother has since passed on but I know she will be with me as I embark on this 26.2 mile run through NYC as a GOTR Solemate!”

Jocelyns Holmes 5 (1)

You can see our program in action and help instill confidence in girls across NYC at this year’s Fall 2023 5K on December 10th on Randall’s Island. We have many ways to get involved and you can learn more here!

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a SoleMate this year with your own event or joining us for the 2024 NYC Half Marathon you can visit our 2024 SoleMates page


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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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