Eileen is an elementary and middle school counselor in a small, rural school district in New Haven, MO. She started the Girls on the Run team at New Haven Elementary and Middle Schools and has coached for three seasons. The team continues to grow!
Eileen recently authored an article about how Girls on the Run transforms students’ lives, which was published in The Counseling Interviewer a publication of the Missouri School Counselor’s Association.
In Eileen’s words: “I have a Masters in Education and Social Work. I come from a large family of eight children – four sisters and three brothers (classic middle child syndrome – Ha!). I am the wife of a “runner,” Steve, who is the most supportive, awesome person in my world. I have three amazing children Clare, 12, Lucy, 11, and Charlie, 7. For the past five years I have been meeting three women Barb, Lisa, and Pam at 4:30 a.m. We started out walking everyday and slowly, painfully, started running. On October 3, 2010 we completed our first marathon (Lewis and Clark). Now, we are all addicted. Talk about SUPERSONIC GIRL POWER!!! There ya have it! That’s me.
Read what else Eileen had to say about Girls on the Run.
What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run that both you’ve experienced and that you’ve seen for the girls you’ve coached?
The most rewarding thing about GOTR is the one-on-one interaction with the girls. GOTR gives me the opportunity to watch a girl work to accomplish a goal and succeed. It gives me an opportunity to watch girls interact in a very powerful, thoughtful way. I have watched girls literally “come out of their shell.” Girls who would never talk in class began talking – raising their hand. Girls who would never dance – danced without hesitation at a school party. Being a part of GOTR gives girls a sense of belonging and pride. My own daughters have learned very valuable life lessons and I have learned a great deal about them through the processing and workouts. I just feel like I’m bursting with pride some days!
Why would you recommend volunteering with Girls on the Run?
I would highly recommend mothers with daughters, fathers with daughters, sisters, high school students, teachers, anyone who likes to run – get involved in GOTR. It will change your life! It is the most rewarding volunteering I have ever done. It is purposeful and silly and outrageously fun.
What are your hopes for the future of the Girls on the Run St. Louis council?
It is my hope that GOTR continues to impact the lives of any girl who wants to be involved. I love the scholarship program. GOTR would not be the same without it – honestly. I would like to see GOTR offered in more schools in our area. I would like to see more corporate sponsorship – more involvement particularly from the healthcare/mental health community. This is an excellent prevention program.
What’s your favorite Girls on the Run cheer?
The shopping cart. Don’t ask me why!
Any favorite memories or stories you’d like to share.
I always get emotional about this program. I could watch our 1st season slide show over and over and get teary. This program taps into the girls’ “true spirit” and it taps into mine. I have told my husband that God places things in your life for a reason and after meeting Molly Barker (Founder of Girls on the Run) – I was just in awe and I knew that this was not just a fluke for me to be a part of, it was just meant to be. So thank you GOTR St. Louis for this opportunity. It has created some very special memories for my family and for all of the girls I have coached. I will look back on this time in my life bursting with pride!