2015-11-13

Written by Lindsay Hall, AmeriCorps member on the Albemarle Foundation Team at Merrydale Elementary School. 

Girls are amazing. However, they don’t always get the support and encouragement they richly deserve in their day to day lives. Underserving these young minds doesn’t just affect them; it denies everyone in the community in which they live. Here at City Year Baton Rouge, we are able to do our part to support these brilliant and creative people through Girls on the Run, an afterschool program that teaches girls to recognize their potential and work towards their dreams, all while learning to go the distance. Here are some of the people who make one branch of CYBR’s Girls on the Run team possible: Coaches and CYBR AmeriCorps members Johanna Bogdanow and Jordan Corps, as well as three of members of the Girls on the Run team!


Johanna Bogdanow 

Why did you want to coach Girls on the Run?

I generally like to run to destress. The combination of letting go of the stress that builds up during a school day and teaching great life lessons from the GOTR curriculum is a great way to have a positive impact on my girls. GOTR is a safe place where the girls can discuss a variety of topics that each lesson covers and being a coach means that you get to be the person to help them deal with issues they face every day in order to become strong, confident young women. 

What are some of the best moments you’ve had so far?

There was the time the girls found out that I was upset about a family member of mine who became terminally ill - the way they reacted was heartwarming. They comforted me and gave me such great support the moment they understood why I was sad. I could not have been comforted any better way!

What do you hope the members take away from their time with Girls on the Run?

I hope they become aware of the fact that they are intelligent and beautiful young women and that they realize that they are capable to choose right from wrong which sets them apart from others, making them amazing girls who are capable to achieve whatever they want in life. 


Jordan Corps

Why did you want to coach Girls on the Run?

I was inspired to coach by Girls on the Run’s mission to empower young females. The goal is to instill a greater sense of self-confidence in the girls while applying a positive can-do attitude towards running and everyday life – something that we can all learn from!

Have you experienced any challenges while coaching the team?

The Girls on the Run team at Merrydale has students that are in anywhere from 3rd to 5th grade. Keeping the girls focused and motivated despite the various levels of maturity and running abilities is a greater challenge than originally anticipated. Being a male coach in an all-girls program has been something new to say the least. However, it is yet another instance where expanding comfort zones leads to personal growth for all involved. I find that sharing a passion for running and providing the girls with a role model are the two most important qualities that a coach can bring to the team.

What are some of the best moments you’ve had so far?

One day we discussed the girls’ academic and career aspirations at the end of practice. It was incredibly rewarding to hear how practical their goals are and how dedicated they are to pursuing them.


Keonna

Girls on the Run! Is it really so much fun? Why do you enjoy being a girl on the run?

Girls on the Run is actually so much fun. I enjoy it because we get to do all of these fun activities dealing with positive behavior.

How does being a part of the Girls on the Run team affect how you feel about school?

I use some of the strategies I learn there in school. It helps by pushing more good behavior into my cells and pumps up my confidence about myself. It is all about positive words, like having confidence in yourself, and working together.

Would you recommend Girls on the Run to other girls?

I would because I want them to know how important it is to learn to be positive.

Why do you like your coaches?

They push as and pump us up before the big race. I like them because they both unique, they both teach us, and they both push us to have more confidence in ourselves.


LaKiya 

Girls on the Run! Is it really so much fun? Why do you enjoy being a girl on the run?

I enjoy Girls on the Run because it helps me keep active and it is full of positive things. It also helps you have confidence and doesn’t let you get low self-esteem.

How does being a part of Girls on the Run affect how you see yourself?

I see myself as a calm and positive person. Our coaches teach you how to act and not to be disrespectful. We made up our own goals, and we learned to plug good thoughts into our head to get rid of all the negativity. 

What do you want the world to know about Girls on the Run?

I’ll say that girls at every school that has what it takes to be in Girls on the Run and if you do you’ll see yourself become more positive. 


Talesha

Girls on the Run! Is it really so much fun? Why do you enjoy being a girl on the run?

Yes! I enjoy being a girl on the run because it’s special to me and my body.

How does being a part of Girls on the Run affect how you see yourself?

GOTR makes me see myself as a positive, healthy, pretty, and best of all, strong person.

Have you done Girls on the Run before? Why did you sign up for it again? What sort of things do you remember doing?

No! This is my first year, but I know how it is. I am mad; I want to be in it every time.

What do you want the world to know about Girls on the Run?

I want to let them know how fun it is and make girls on the run famous, popular and the world’s most best team to be associated with.

Share This Page