Climb Your Everest: Girls on the Run host inspiring event!
“Girls on the Run taught me that I am the only one who can define who I am. So surround yourself with only those who love and care for you and want you to succeed” – Kaylina, Girl on the Run.
We were so honored to have had the privilege of presenting Kaylina Smith with the first annual Star Power Alumnae Scholarship at the annual Girls on the Run breakfast this last Tuesday. Kaylina is a senior at Roseville Area High School, and in the fall she will be attending Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota for psychology or social studies education.
The event was held in one of Minneapolis’ most beautiful buildings, The Machine Shop. Painted pictures and posters lined the rustic brick walls, as well as fun drawings for gift baskets and mystery boxes.
Immediately upon entering, we were greeted by the most joyful group of girls dressed in green. Their giggles echoed throughout the building, as well as one girl on the run, Georgia who serenaded us with her ukulele!
We were touched by the evident impact Girls on the Run has on young girls in our community. During a time in their lives when name calling and exclusion within peer relationships become more prevalent, Girls on the Run unites girls, teaching them to accept others and bring out the best in them.
Perhaps the biggest highlight was the keynote speaker, Sara Safari. She is a former professor in electrical engineering, author, and mountain climber. Born in Iran, Sara grew up seeing women being denied equal opportunity and always felt compelled to do something about the glass ceiling.
She recalled the story of how she discovered her passion for mountain climbing, “One day at a seminar, a speaker suggested we think of a project that seemed impossible to do and commit to doing it. Someone behind me whispered something about trekking to the Mount Everest base camp. Before I knew it, I shouted out, ‘I am going to climb Everest!’ As I heard those words coming out of my mouth I couldn’t believe I said it, but I felt compelled to at least try. So I went home and googled ‘how to climb Everest’.”
Sara found a number to call, and was told she needed to climb 7 other “smaller” mountains before she would be considered for summiting Everest.
Through a series of unfortunate events on her first trek up the highest peak in California, Sara found herself throwing in the towel on mountain climbing. But after meeting the man who founded the organization Empower Nepali Girls, Sara decided to make summiting mount Everest into something beyond herself. She decided that from then on, she would begin to raise $1 for every foot she climbed for organizations who work to “empower women and girls to break the glass ceiling and live fully as they deserve.”
Needless to say, we left in awe, inspired, and motivated to climb a mountain!
With our identity constantly getting disfigured, and ambitions lost in the shuffle of the media, we often neglect to recognize our true purpose. Girls on the Run is on a mission create a reality where every girl is free to boldly pursue her dreams. It was developed so that girls might grow up knowing their worth and learning how to employ their full potential in everyday life.
What started with 13 girls in Charlotte, North Carolina has made tremendous strides to now having over 200 councils across the U.S. and District of Columbia. With the help of over 100,000 volunteers, Girls on the Run served over 185,000 girls in 2015, including its millionth girl!In the same year, Girls on the Run hosted more than 350 end-of-season 5K events across the United States, making the Girls on the Run 5K series the largest in the country. Not only that, the program also launched a new middle school program, Heart & Sole, which is dedicated to the unique needs of adolescent girls.
Girls on the Run has been featured by national media outlets including People, Runner’s World, Redbook, Women’s Day, O Magazine, Women’s Running, SELF Magazine, Glamour, Shape, Marie Claire, Parenting, Running Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, NPR, ESPN and FOX Sports.
Even with a base in all 50 states, Girls on the Run believe they are nowhere near the finish line in their outreach. We are proud to support their strides to get there!