As a parent, we all want the best for our children

By Teddey Hicks on 3/22/2017

We hear all the time from parents and girls about how the complicated journey of adolescence was so much easier with the foundation of confidence and values learned during our program.

The impact of Girls on the Run can be best understood by hearing the personal stories of the girls and their parents.


From a mother...

“As a parent, we all want the best for our children. And as a woman and mother, I know how important it is to raise strong daughters who understand they can be and do whatever they want.

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is an amazing program that nurtures these ideas and instills confidence in young girls everywhere.

There are many sports and activities that focus on cut-throat competition and being “the best.” Not that competition is bad; I myself am a highly competitive person. But, sometimes the uber-competitiveness can have negative effects on others around you. GOTR provides a means to develop self-esteem in young girls/women and help them focus on setting and achieving personal goals and becoming the best “person” they can be.

I have watched my daughter thrive in her teen years thanks to the encouragement and friendships she developed with her GOTR coaches and teammates. She will tell you one of the best units in the program was about body image and realizing we are all made differently, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t accomplish more or less than anyone else. My daughter began the program in 5th grade and had an amazing group of coaches and a high school senior as her junior coach. Through the program she gained more confidence, became more aware of those around her, and started on the journey of really wanting to help others succeed. She realized this while learning to create her own personal goals and know how she could achieve them.

For the past few years, I’ve watched her mentor other young GOTR participants by being a buddy runner and just cheering on others at races/events. She was invited to participate in the Iron Girl relay with a group of middle school girls in the SoleMates program. These girls and coaches were so inspiring and encouraging that she has now convinced several of her high school cross country teammates to participate in the Iron Girl this year; she’s decided as her goal to complete the entire event this year, not just the swimming.

GOTR also helped her develop leadership skills which she has transferred into becoming a strong and positive Girls Cross Country and Track captain. She makes a point at all the races to be at the finish line cheering on all of her teammates. Even if she has just finished racing herself, she immediately is aware of where her teammates are and who might need extra encouragement.

I can’t say enough about the tremendously positive impact GOTR has on girls, from building confidence, nurturing self-esteem, developing leadership skills, learning how to set goals, as well as recognizing everyone’s accomplishments (large or small) and appreciating the differences in those around you. It is an amazing program!”


And her daughter…

“Girls on the Run has impacted my life by teaching me to value myself and others, and that any girl can achieve their goals if they set their mind to it. In Girls on the Run, I remember discussing how every girl has unique qualities that make them special. My coaches taught me to embrace these differences and use my talents to help others to make a positive impact on the world. Each person has their own set of talents that vary from person to person; it is important to respect these differences and value each person for their own qualities that make them who they are. Because of this, I keep an open mind when meeting new people; I try to find the positive qualities in every person instead of judging their mistakes because no one can be perfect. This way that I view others has also reflected the way I view myself. Instead of focusing on my mistakes or my negative qualities, I focus on the special talents given to me and seek ways to help others with them. For example, Girls on the Run helped me discover my love for running, and now that I am older I enjoy being a buddy runner and cheering on other girls at races so they can find joy in running as well. I especially enjoy watching every girl cross the finish line because I know they have each put in the time and effort into training and completing a 5k, some of them for their first time. Girls on the Run encourages every girl to try their best and be proud of what they accomplish, and this mindset motivates girls to succeed and put effort into their passions. The coaches always supported us in reaching our goals, and no matter what happened, they were proud of us when we crossed the finish line. Every time I finish a race, I am filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride of the work I have put in, and...

I know I would not be who I am today if I did not join Girls on the Run.”


Our core values:

Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making.

Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness

Express joy, optimism, and gratitude through our words, thoughts, and actions

Nurture our physical, emotional, and spiritual health

Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent

Stand up for ourselves and others


Girls on the Run of Central Maryland
9150 Rumsey Road
Suite A7
Columbia, MD 21045

(443) 583-7740