Coach Leigh from Sulphur, LA believes that Girls on the Run gives girls something to work for; as team members they want to be leaders and role models for other students in the school. She volunteers to coach at Baton Rouge College Prep and we are so lucky to have her as a mentor for young girls in the community!
Why did you become involved with Girls on the Run?
In December 2015 I attended the Girls on the Run 5K to support some of my former students who had moved on to middle school and were involved in Heart and Sole. The pure joy and sense of accomplishment they had when finishing the 5K was indescribable. I knew I had to bring this amazing program to the girls at my current school.
How do you think Girls on the Run helps young girls and women?
Girls on the Run helps girls set and work toward goals which improves their confidence. I've seen our girls develop social skills and become friends and teammates with girls with whom they would normally not interact. GOTR gives girls something to work for; as team members they want to be leaders and role models for other students in the school.
What would you tell your 8-year-old self?
I would tell my 8-year-old self to be unapologetically you! I often tried to hide my intelligence or achievements to better fit in with the other students, and I wish I wouldn't have spent all those years downplaying my strengths. What makes you different is what makes you special!
If you were to choose a bandana word (like the ones we have at the 5k!), what would it be?My bandana at the Spring 2016 Girls on the Run 5K said "Big Sis," which is the perfect bandanna for me. My two little sisters, aged 20 and 13, are my world, and I strive every day to be a role model for them.
Anything else you want to share?
I have a wonderful story from our very first day of practice this season. At the end of our 10-minute running time, all of the girls had made it back in from the track except for one team member. Half of the finished team members went to the end of the lap to cheer her on while the other half jogged out to her to finish the final lap with her. The teamwork and support my girls showed at their very first practice had me in tears!
Thank you Coach Leigh for all the time and energy you put into serving Girls on the Run South Louisiana. You are a superSTAR!