Girls on the Run Inspires Young Girls to Step Out of their ‘Girl Box’

Since 1996, Girls on the Run has been inspiring young girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through a curriculum that integrates running.

The program strives for a world where girls know their potential and actively pursue their dreams. 

5k10Girls on the Run- Central Michigan serves the greater area of Clare, Gratiot and Isabella county, and focuses on helping girls from third to eighth grade reach their full potential daily.

Anna Bruce, 22, from Mitchell, Ky., has been involved with Girls on the Run since January 2015.

Bruce started out as a coach and worked closely with Sam Jones, the director of Girls on the Run- Central Michigan, to plan a fundraiser for the program. Now, Bruce has taken on the position of student intern and has helped to plan several events for the program.

“Girls on the Run teaches young girls that they are amazing and that they can do anything they set their minds to,” Bruce said. “It helps them to step outside of their ‘girl box’ while training for a 5k that they will run, skip, hop or walk at the end of the season.”

5k4This season, Bruce will work as a coach for McGuire Elementary and facilitate the coach training for Girls on the Run. She knows this program helps give girls the confidence they need to step out of their comfort zone and love themselves for who they truly are, which is why it is so close to her heart.

“At their age, it is easy to be swept up in what the media says they should be and how they should look, not necessarily promoting all the wonderful things they can accomplish,” Bruce said. “Girls on the Run helps these girls reach their limitless potential.”

Bruce hopes that this year, she can bring her experiences into coaching and help the girls relate to her stories to find solutions to their own personal issues.

“Like most girls, I have gone through many issues battling what my worth was to society, but once I realized the only opinion that mattered was my own, I was able to grow and develop into whatever I wanted to be,” Bruce said. “I hope my struggles and journeys can help the girls relate and understand they aren’t alone and they don’t have to go with the expected.”

Andie Roll, 21, from Lake Orion has been involved with Girls on the Run since her sophomore year at Central Michigan University, when she learned about it through her sorority involvement. 

Roll now works in the Girls on the Run office as an intern, assisting with many tasks as the season is about to begin. She will also start the season as a coach for the first time.

5k31“I’m really looking forward to being able to make a difference in these girls lives by encouraging them to be their best self and making sure they’re having a blast throughout the season,” Roll said. “I really hope I can impact them by being someone they can look up to and count on.”

According to Roll, Girls on the Run inspires girls to take control of their lives.

“It’s a place where girls learn that they ‘can’,” Roll said. “No limits or constraints – only opportunities to be remarkable.”

Girls on the Run not only inspires the girls who take part in the program, but those who support and volunteer Girls on the Run as well.

“Volunteers are constantly making a difference for the program and there are so many different ways to get involved,” Roll said. “Whether it’s volunteering to coach a team, helping out with fundraisers or helping make the 5k celebration the best it can be, Girls on the Run appreciates everything its volunteers do.”