Jenna DeYong, 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 nearly 3,000 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, Jenna DeYong.
Coach Jenna is no stranger to the GOTR Core Value to “stand up for myself and others!” As the first female police officer on the Granite City Police Department, Jenna has blazed a trail for other women to join the force and become leaders within it. It is this same tenacity, enthusiasm for her community and unwavering belief in the limitless potential in every girl that connects Jenna to the Girls on the Run program. The opportunity to coach her niece initially drew Jenna into Girls on the Run, but it has been the transformation she sees in her girls that keeps her coaching every season. In fact, Jenna has led teams at three Granite City elementary schools for over 5 years, ensuring high quality, engaging lessons for hundreds of girls. If you have the opportunity to be a part of one of Coach Jenna’s practices, then be prepared for high energy, laughter and real connections – between the girls, coaches and the life changing lessons. Jenna believes in what she is facilitating with the girls and creates a safe, affirming space in her teams for every girl.
In addition to coaching, Jenna regularly serves as a Small Group Facilitator at new coach trainings providing that same energy and connection in her dedication to building up her fellow coaches.
With her superpower of “never, ever giving up!” Jenna hopes that every girl can see that her dreams, her ideas matter and can be achieved. “That’s why I want Girls on the Run for every girl. It reminds her that she is capable of more than anyone could ever limit her to!”
Michelle Brady, Girls on the Run St Louis Board Member
Michelle Brady’s commitment to the Girls on the Run St. Louis mission shines through in nearly every facet of her life. Executive Director of Transaction Advisory Services at Ernst & Young, Michelle Brady’s involvement with Girls on the Run began with an observation on the playground at her children’s school in Chicago. A move to St. Louis over 6 years ago provided the opportunity for her to learn more about the curriculum and unique design of the physical-activity based positive youth development program.
Currently serving as the Immediate Past Chair of the Girls on the Run St. Louis Board of Directors, Michelle has previously served as both Treasurer and Chair of the Board, as well as a Pacesetter, race volunteer, SoleMate and committed supporter for several teams through the GOTR-STL scholarship program. As a Heart & Sole Coach at Parkway Central Middle School and previously a Girls on the Run Coach at Green Trails Elementary in the Parkway School District, Michelle is known and respected for her ability to create a safe, inclusive practice that honors every girl. As one former program parent described, “Michelle knows how to connect to the girl who may not feel part of the group and bring her in. She really taught my daughter what being a Girl on the Run is all about – knowing yourself, feeling confident in who you are and welcoming others like that too - and for that I am grateful. It will stick with her forever!”
For Michelle, the mission of Girls on the Run is something that she feels connected to on a very personal level. All all six members of the Brady family are actively involved in Girls on the Run St. Louis! Her twin daughters have been part of three seasons of Girls on the Run and are now in their first season of Heart & Sole, thanks to Michelle re-invigorating the program at their middle school. Both of her sons are seasoned 5k participants and volunteers, joining their father, Sean, at the water station to encourage every runner to keep moving forward! As Michelle explains it, being part of GOTR-STL is important for her sons, too, because “I want the experience for them of how empowering young girls and women makes their lives better. I am raising boys who will never question that this is the future – women who are strong, confident leaders.”
St. Louis Children's Hospital, Community Partner
Also at the 2019 Power Of One Gala, St. Louis Children’s Hospital will be honored as a champion for Girls on the Run St. Louis for over 10 years. The advocacy and dedication to effecting real, lasting health change for children across the diverse St. Louis community has been an inspiration to Girls on the Run St. Louis and is truly transformational for the families in the 23 counties served by our council. As one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is providing life-changing care while improving the lives of whole communities – one child at a time.
As the Guardians of Childhood, St. Louis Children’s Hospital's commitment to the whole girl – body, mind and spirit – is a tremendous catalyst for our Girls on the Run. Since 2008, more than 20,000 local girls have accessed the program in their community due to the support of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Girls on the Run St. Louis is grateful for this shared commitment to every Girl on the Run and her trajectory for a lifetime of healthy living.