Nila is a teacher and Girls on Track coach at Hazelwood Southeast Middle School. It was her principal who first encouraged her to form a Girls on Track team at the school in 2011. Nila is also an avid runner, completing eight half marathons and she says coaching GOT inspires her to keep on running.
In addition to running, teaching, and coaching, Nila works with WISE, Women’s Initiatives that Strengthen and Empower, in Zambia, Africa. Nila also taught ninth grade English at Sishekanu Basic School in Kaoma, Zambia. While her class was a great success, Nila says she still feels she is called to do more and currently sponsors two boys in Kaoma.
Nila explains her passion for teaching and coaching: “I truly believe we are put on this earth for two reasons: to serve others and to grow. Teaching and coaching has given me so many opportunities to grow and learn. I’m thankful for the journey I’ve experienced, the path I am currently on, and what the future has in store.”
What is your favorite GOTR moment?
Nila’s favorite GOT moments reveal how much her team informs her life. During a warm up activity for a lesson on body image, her teammates shouted together “we are beautiful, no matter what others say” and “we can be anyone and do anything we put our minds and hearts to.” Before the 5k last year, the girls held hands and promised to stay together. They chant at every practice: “All for one, one for all, together we stand, divided we fall. Runners, let’s go run!” For Nila, to hear these young women all say these words together and believe in what they are saying is so inspiring.
What inspires you?
Nila says she feels very inspired by her GOT girls everyday. “I know I speak for all of our coaches when I say our practices are something we look forward to each week. This group of girls is incredible and we are so lucky to be a part of this journey with them.”