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Empower a Girl, Change the World

By Jessica Willard on 10/08/2015 | Featured Columns & Series

Empower a girl, change the world! Girls on the Run is designed to inspire every girl to recognize her inner strength and activate her limitless potential. When girls are empowered, they can change their futures, their communities, and even the world!

In recognition of International Day of the Girl, we’re celebrating our incredible GOTR girls and the unique impact they have on their greater communities through their leadership and service to others. Take Lia Melis from GOTR Northern Arizona for example. She founded the “Pay It Forward Club"—a group dedicated to promoting random acts of kindness among students at her school. As a result of her outstanding leadership and academic performance, Lia was awarded the 2015 Sara Morley Girls on the Run Spirit Scholarship, which she plans to apply towards a college degree in environmental science and sustainability as well as participate in the ROTC program at Northern Arizona University. In her acceptance speech Lia shared, “To future awardees and to all girls: believe in the power of yourself. Each of us has a strength within that will overcome any adversity and a power to make a difference through kindness. Never stop running toward your dreams.”

Mireya Felix of GOTR Northwest Indiana is also effecting change in the world. Mireya was chosen as one of thirty young women to attend the WiSci (Women in Science) Girls STEAM Camp in Rwanda last summer. The camp’s objective was to bring together African and American girls with a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields.

Back at home, Mireya is a GOTR junior coach and she even started a new chapter of Girl Up, a Girls on the Run national ally, at her high school. The club now has 35 members and will focus on advocating and raising funds to benefit girls in other countries. "My service through Girls on the Run has impacted my life so much. I feel like I really found myself while being a junior coach. If it wasn't for Girls on the Run I wouldn't have found out about their partner, Girl Up, and I wouldn't be where I am today. Never in a million years would I have expected to start my own club and to have gone to Rwanda! It's because of Girls on the Run that I was confident enough to start my own club and find the courage to fill out the application for the camp and I am forever thankful for that."

Mikayla Melton of GOTR Union County is making a positive impact by creating “blessing bags” for homeless individuals in her community. What started as a small operation with a goal of distributing thirty bags has now grown to where Mikayla has stuffed and handed out over 400 bags in her community. Mikayla says that Girls on the Run motivated her to be positive and that she likes how the program helps people. "I have been praying for the homeless for a long time, then one day, I felt like we could help them by giving them a bag full of items they need.  This is just a small way that I can help them." Mikayla's mother, Mandy Melton, says that Mikayla is a shy girl and handing out the blessing bags has given her confidence and courage. When Mikayla goes up to the homeless people she sees and hands them a blessing bag with a huge smile on her face, their reaction is amazing. Such a small gesture really touches their hearts and has made grown men cry, happy tears of course. Click here for more information on Mikayla's blessing bag initiative.

At Girls on the Run, we are moved and inspired by the selfless work each of these girls are doing to create positive change in their communities through their leadership and service! Join us in creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential. Your donation to Girls on the Run will inspire girls to be joyful, healthy & confident. Please click here to make a gift today!

Jessica Willard

Author

Jessica is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Girls on the Run International, where she manages all social media and website projects and spearheads the digital marketing strategy. She brings a background in ecommerce and digital marketing to Girls on the Run and is grateful and excited to be serving an organization which empowers girls to realize their inner strength and activate their limitless potential.

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