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Junior Coach Spotlight: Abby

Maryland Junior Coach Abby Smiles with Some Girls on Her Team

Coach Abby both participated in Girls on the Run when she was younger and helped lead a Maryland team as a junior coach.  Now that's it's Back-to-School season, we're all thinking of her and wishing her well as she heads off to college!

1. How have you been involved with Girls on the Run?

I participated in Girls On The Run of the Greater Chesapeake at my elementary school, and in the fall of my senior year, I coached at a local community center.

2. What is your favorite GOTR lesson and why is it your favorite?

My favorite Girls on the Run lesson was when we had posters for each of the girls, and through completing their laps, they would take a turn to write on one another's posters things about them that they liked. The girls were prompted to not write things that they could see, such as ‘I like your hair’ or “I like your sneakers’ but to go under the surface and write things like ‘I love how you make others feel included’. This lesson was my favorite because at the end the girls got to take home their own papers, and those who had less confidence or were more self-conscious and reserved were able to see ways that their peers and coaches saw them as special.  It also taught them to see each other beyond their physical appearance and see how they are beautiful inside and out. 

3. Why do you think it's important for girls to be able to participate in Girls on the Run?

I think it's so important for ALL girls in elementary education and beyond to be able to participate in Girls on the Run, because the lessons that are taught are ones that will stay with the girls for the rest of their lives, and there’s nothing like it taught in school. I can say this from experience, as I did girls on the run 11 years ago and I remember learning how to deal with bullies, effectively process my emotions, and to feel empowered by being a girl. These are lessons that I carry with me to this day.

4. What impact did GOTR have on you / your team?
During the season, I could see a difference in the girls' attitudes, the way they handled situations and presented themselves to others. I realized that by working with people for a short amount of time can have such a large impact. It's made me want to minor in social work when I attend college in the fall. 

5. What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall, and majoring in engineering. I like to travel, and spend time with friends and family.


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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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