Jennifer Carcagno, Girls on the Run St. Louis Coach
Without the incredibly dedicated and committed coaches, there would not be a Girls on the Run St. Louis! Our more than 2,000 volunteer coaches bring the curriculum and practices to life by connecting with their Girls on the Run, embodying the core values and helping each of their girls know and activate her limitless potential. We are privileged to have outstanding women and men who believe in and ensure our mission to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living. We are excited to recognize Girls on the Run St. Louis Coach and supporter, Jennifer Carcagno.
Since 2009 – 10 amazing seasons! – Jen has enthusiastically ensured the success of the Girls on the Run team at her school, Buder Elementary School in the Ritenour School District where she serves as the physical education teacher. She was drawn to the program, not only as an athlete and PE teacher, but by the evidence-based curriculum that she knew would effectively address the unique needs of her girls. Inspired by the possibility for the amazing girls at Buder Elementary to experience confidence and joy with running, the rest is GOTR history!
If you have the privilege to visit one of the Buder Girls on the Run practices, then you will witness what can only be described as magic. Jen’s teams are dynamic, engaged and connected – to one another and Coach Carcagno! Jen models the Girls on the Run core values, is supportive of her girls setting big goals and going after it, and always celebrates the team.
Jen is an outstanding ambassador of the program, ensuring we are providing positive, active role models for all our Girls on the Run. Her sincere passion for the mission and vision of Girls on the Run St. Louis is evident to her girls, fellow coaches, colleagues and anyone who meets Coach Carcagno! However, Jen will be the first to tell you that she is the one inspired by the growth she sees in her girls every, single season and the movement this is creating. “I love knowing that our girls can be part of a team, see themselves as I see them – as strong, smart and capable of anything. I love what Girls on the Run means to my teams and will forever believe in this mission!”
In addition to her coaching and having been a GOTR mom, Jen is a small group facilitator at new coach trainings, ensuring more girls have committed, trained and caring coaches. When not in season, Jen has special place in the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5k, handing out finisher medals and high fives to all the “brave and amazing Girls on the Run!”
Brad Eastman, the Original "Sparkler"
Brad Eastman, a logistics specialist with the U.S. Department of Defense, learned about GOTR in 2006 when his wife became a volunteer coach in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Eastman joined in the excitement of 5k race day with smiles, encouragement and cheers for all the girls as they entered the final meters of the run. He has volunteered on race day ever since.
"His enthusiasm gets girls smiling and running across the finish line," Berg said. "Often the girls are struggling to keep going. With care and attention to what the girls will respond to, Brad helps each girl in those final moments turn on her positivity and celebrate her achievement. The Girls on the Run finish line is a wonderful, positive place thanks to the sparkling energy of Brad."
"Being a part of the Girls on the Run 5k and this organization is truly a privilege and a joy for me,” Eastman said. “I look forward to the 5k and it was something that I was most looking forward to once I had recovered from my cancer surgery and treatment. It is so inspiring to me to see every girl cross that finish line, with a smile, knowing she can accomplish it, do it all herself - even if we are holding hands together - she did it! To be part of those moments and part of Girls on the Run is amazing."
Emerson, Community Partner
Also at the 2018 Power Of One Gala, Emerson will be honored as a champion for Girls on the Run St. Louis for 10 years. Recently, in alignment with the Forward Through Ferguson report, Emerson directed support to sites within north St. Louis County, specifically Bermuda Elementary in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
Emerson underwrites entire teams that would not otherwise be able to afford the program. Emerson’s dedication to the Forward Through Ferguson call to action and their philanthropic support has been an inspiration to Girls on the Run St. Louis.