About the Founder

Molly Barker, MSW, founded Girls on the Run in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, she used her background in social work, counseling and teaching, along with research on adolescent issues, to develop the program. Today, there are Girls on the Run councils in over 210 cities across North America serving over 200,000 girls and women each year.

The “Girl Box,” a phrase coined by Molly, describes the imaginary place many girls go around adolescence, where cultural and societal stereotypes limit choices as well as opportunities. Molly founded Girls on the Run to create a connected and safe “space” that invites girls and women to see, unravel from and eliminate their own and often unconscious buy-in to the Girl Box and its limiting messages.
Molly has been featured in many media outlets including People, Runner’s World, Glamour, Self, Shape, Redbook and Woman’s Day. She was recently selected by Fast Company to the” League of Extraordinary Women, Women Truly Changing the World”:http://www.fastcompany.com/1839862/meet-league-extraordinary-women-60-in.... In July, 2013, Molly was recognized by President Barack Obama and President George H.W. Bush at a ceremony in Washington DC, as a Daily Point of Light.
Molly has authored two books, “Girls on Track: A Parent’s Guide to Inspiring our Daughters to Achieve a Lifetime of Self-Esteem and Respect”, and “Girls Lit from Within” which is specifically for 3rd – 8th grade girls.
Molly is a positive role model. She enjoys writing, running and yoga but most enjoys the challenges which emerge in her own personal evolution and deep desire to live life outside the Boxes that might otherwise contain her.