I am... Girls on the Run
At Girls on the Run, we are changing the narrative about what it means to be a girl. We believe every girl is inherently full of power and potential and our aim is for every girl to believe this about herself as well.
At Girls on the Run St Louis, we recognize that each of us has our own story of how powerful we find this program, not only to girls today, but to our inner Girl on the Run! We also know that each of us has the potential to inspire and encourage others and elevate our Girls on the Run to a more confident and empowered future.
To connect our community to the GOTR core value "Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness", this month we launched "I Am Girls on the Run!", a campaign to highlight women and men that are part of our mission and how relevant and urgent this program is to them - even their inner GOTR "superstar!" Because we are ALL Girls on the Run!
In the first of our series, meet three women who are committed to the mission of Girls on the Run and leading the organization in their own, unique ways.
Courtney Berg, Executive Director
Meet Girl on the Run, Courtney Berg, leading our organization as Executive Director. Courtney works so that girls know the power that lives in each of us to have a positive influence on others and the world!
"Meet 3rd grade Courtney who LOVES anything outdoors (especially swimming), reading chapter books and trying to be just like her older (hero!) brother. She misses her friends in Michigan, but is making so many new friends in St. Louis!
If I could whisper in that smiling fisherwoman's ear today, I would tell her that she is capable of so much and to never, ever doubt it. Being brave is feeling scared and excited at the same time!
I am incredibly grateful and inspired by the mission of GOTR; the opportunity to be part of such critical work to ensure strong, caring, confident leaders is a gift. I refuse to accept the trajectory of fewer c-suite female leaders, female heads of state, a gender pay gap or gender stereotypes. Our Girls on the Run are the courageous leaders who will ensure that - and so much more! I can't wait for a Girl on the Run to be my boss!"
Rikki Menn, Board of Directors
Meet Girl on the Run, Rikki Takeyama Menn, leading our organization as a member of our Board of Directors and ensuring every girl can know and activate her limitless potential!
"This is 3rd grade Rikki, who loved staying busy with friends, dance, soccer and Fox Trotters (jump rope club)!
If I could, I would tell her to always be open to trying new things because you never know what you’ll end up loving, like a new sport or hobby, or who you’ll meet along the way!
It is such an amazing feeling to be part of this program, which is inspiring our next generation of strong female leaders. This program is so important to me because I want every girl in my community to have the opportunity to be part of something that will inspire and positively change her for years to come."
Annie O'Brien, Operations Director
Meet Girl on the Run, Annie O'Brien, leading our organization as Operations Director and working to ensure that all girls have the tools to discover and embrace thier most authentic self.
"This is 3rd grade Annie and she is a tomboy! My family nickname was "monkey bunny" because I climbed on everything and snuggled with anything. I just loved a good walk/run/hike in nature, any playground that had monkey bars, swimming and TV programs about smart, dynamic women (Bionic Woman, Nancy Drew, Mary Tyler Moore, etc.).
What would I whisper in her ear? Stop the negative self-talk and believe in yourself, you can do it!
Why do I believe in and support GOTR now? We need to change the paradigm and re-frame the view of a woman's place in the world - not as less than or more than, but equal to men. GOTR gives girls the tools to continue to see themselves as equal to boys even when a lot of society's messages tell them otherwise."
Individually, our introduction and connection to the mission, our experience with the organization and the ways we support GOTR can look very different. Together, we are inspiring others to stand up for themselves, to build healthy relationships and to give back to the community. Together, we are instilling confidence in the girls we serve that will stand the test of time. Together, we are changing the narrative by joyfully celebrating a truth that will exponentially impact the world – that girls are strong, radiant and, indeed, full of power and potential.
Thank you for being a part of the Girls on the Run St Louis story!