The years leading up to adolescence can be a turbulent time for both genders, but ‘tween and teen girls experience a much more dramatic drop in confidence than boys do.
According to a recent study which polled tweens and teens, between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence levels fall by 30 percent. At 14, when girls are hitting their low, boys’ confidence is still 27 percent higher. And the effects can be long lasting.
But wait! There are ways to spot this change in girls, and also ways that confidence can be encouraged, nurtured and even created during those turbulent years. That’s where Girls on the Run comes in.
Girls on the Run of Central Iowa is celebrating 10 years on November 11 with an end of season 5K run. Girls on the Run is one of the Y’s most successful programs, building the confidence of 611 girls this season alone.
“I changed because I was more confident with running and with myself and I was also more comfortable around people because I wasn’t shy because I felt good about myself.” - Samantha, 10.
Girls on the Run creates an environment that allows girls like Samantha to embrace who they are, define who they want to be and activate their limitless potential. Each practice, the girls are taught life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. During the season, each team completes a community impact project that’s designed and implemented by the girls. The season culminates with each participant being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K running event.
At this 5K running event, girls are invited to ask someone in their life (who’s over 16) to run with them. This running buddy signs up to run one-on-one with a Girls on the Run participant. It’s a role not to be taken lightly, as the running buddy’s responsibilities include supporting, encouraging and supervising the girl while on the run.
Do you want to get involved but don’t have a daughter? You can sponsor a girl! As a sponsor, throughout the season you will send five notes of encouragement, participate with her at the practice 5K, and serve as her running buddy at the end-of-season 5K.
Almost 40 percent of the girls are supported through financial assistance (a total of over $29,000 this season) and your generosity in being a sponsor helps to ensure each girl has her own cheerleader in her corner as she navigates the season!
In addition to running buddies and sponsors, we’re inviting alumni, friends and runners of all levels to join us at this end-of-season 5K on November 11 to celebrate 10 years of building confidence in girls across Central Iowa.
We can’t wait to see you to celebrate Girls on the Run.