Bullying

Bullying

sparkleNo one has the right to define who you are. No one should be treated unfair. Everyone should have opportunities to be who they want to be without being discriminated.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. You never know what someone could be going through that day.

Always be kind and positive to one another. The only way to sparkle is to stop bullying and it all starts with you.

Color Me Happy!

There are a lot of things on my list of what makes me happy. Close to the top is spending time with my best girl friend, Sammy. Exercising is also high on my list because of its multiple benefits (it makes me feel healthy and confident). What’s really cool is I found a way to do both of those things at the same time: exercising with my best friend!

Sammy and I decided to commit to participating together in at least one 5k a year. This allows us to enhance our fitness and spend more time with one another. To make it fun and interesting, we pick a unique and exciting 5k. This year, we chose a 5k called Run or Dye! Sound scary? Well, it was nothing but awesome! It’s a play on words because during the 3.2 mile run you literally get “dyed” with color!

Sammy and I had a blast participating in this color run. Not only were we getting exercise, but we were getting doused with bright, beautiful colors throughout the run! We also enhanced our bond and created some great memories. After the run they had a color party where all the participants gathered and celebrated with more color and music. We took some awesome, colorful pictures to capture our experience. It made me so happy!

By the way, working out with a friend can provide the following benefits:

  1. Commitment / Motivation: You are more likely to stick to your fitness goals if you have a friend by your side to encourage each other along the way.
  2. Fun / Great memories: Doing any activity with a buddy can make it more fun. You create a stronger bond and can laugh together!
  3. Support / Safety: There is always safety in numbers when you are doing a fitness activity together. You can also help each other if one of you should get injured.

What do you and your best friend do for fun? Consider participating together in Girls on the Run, a 5k or any fitness activity together. You will be happy you did!

Kari is Director of Business and Program Development with the Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida. As a 4th generation Gainesville resident, she and her family hold deep roots in this community and she feels passionate about giving back to the community where she is now raising her children. Kari is currently attending Northeastern University Graduate School of Business in pursuit of her MBA. Fun fact:  Kari likes to unwind with her kids, music, and exercise!

 

 

Girl Power: You’ve Got It, So Use It!

Inline image 1

photo courtesy pinterest

Girls and women are the most powerful beings on the planet! That’s what I tell my daughter, now 11 years old, every day. Being that age myself once, I know girls her age are constantly bombarded with challenges including school, social life, extracurricular activities, and pressure to look and act a certain way…and the list can go on and on).  This can make it hard for us to realize how amazing and powerful we truly are; especially together!

There are too many reasons to write about explaining why I think girls and women are so powerful, but I want to tell you about one important reason.

Girls/Women are change agents! That means we have the ability to use our girl power to make a difference and inspire people to do the same. Think about the women in your life that encourage and motivate you to be better. Maybe it’s your mom, a teacher, coach, aunt, grandmother, your best girlfriend. Or it could be a girl or woman you never met, like First Lady Michelle Obama.

I often think about the common characteristics these women role models share when using their girl power. I am just going to name a few, but I am sure you can think of a lot more.

  • Self confidence/esteem
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Ambition
  • Assertiveness
  • Motivation and Drive
  • Empowerment

So, how do you use your girl power to become a change agent? Well, guess what… You already have all it takes! Here’s how I found my path to girl power to become a change agent.

  1. The first and most important step to using your girl power for good is to make sure you believe in YOURSELF!
  2. Next, find something you are passionate about and get involved.
  3. Surround yourself with fun, positive friends and great women role models.
  4. Don’t let ANYONE define you. YOU define yourself.
  5. And something I tell myself and my kids every single day; Life is about choices. Always be thoughtful with your choices and just try your hardest to make the right one. The results will be amazing!

Now go get yourself some GIRL POWER!! If you already have it, share with us what you are doing to grow your girl power to make a difference.

Kari Brill is a GOTR board member and Director of Business and Program Development with the Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida. As a 4th generation Gainesville resident, she and her family hold deep roots in this community and she feels passionate about giving back to the community where she is now raising her children. Kari is currently attending Northeastern University Graduate School of Business in pursuit of her MBA. Fun fact:  Kari likes to unwind with her kids, music, and exercise!

 

Plugging into the Girls On The Run Cord

We like to teach our girls that we all have a bright light that rests just on the inside of our bodies.  This light is so bright and when we are feeling good about ourselves it shines through us and all that we do for the world.  This light also makes each of us special, unique, and beautiful on the inside.

We also like them to visualize a large socket at the top of their head with a long cord going into that socket.  All of the negative messages that we hear or think to ourselves can make this cord really dirty and stop your light from shining through.  Some of these message might be about not being pretty, popular, or athletic enough and they flow through our body and cause us to feel badly about ourselves.  They end up putting out the bright light that is within each of us causing low confidence and a lack of interest in fun or new activities.

Our girls learn to take this cord, unplug it, throw it onto the ground, and plug into the Girls on the Run Cord!  This cord is a clean, glittery, and bright cord that helps us stand tall and believe in ourselves.  Most importantly it allows us to realize that we are amazing just the way we are!

Young girls, and even boys, are often exposed to negative messages by society, media, family, and friends.  It is our job to make sure that we help each girl learn how to plug into this more positive life line.  We can’t control everything that happens to our special girls outside of our program but we can certainly expose them to their full potential through character lessons and physical activity.  This lesson is also important for adults because we are also exposed to negative messages in our daily lives.  Use this as a reminder to help your children plug into the Girls on the Run Cord and don’t forget to plug into your potential as well!

The "Girl Box" Concept

Our founder with some past participantsThe “Girl Box” is a place where girls are valued more for their outward appearance than their character inside. This often results in low self-esteem and a distorted body image (which can lead to eating disorders, teen pregnancy and substance abuse). Girls on the Run® focuses on educating third through eighth grade girls on developing a healthy self-image and discovering a life that is free of the girl box where they can say, “I belong just the way I am.”

As a woman it is tough to stay outside of the “Girl Box” due to all of the societal pressures to look a certain way in order to be accepted.  For more information on how Girls On the Run International was founded and on how founder Molly Barker came up with the “Girl Box” concept, visit http://www.girlsontherun.org/ourfounder.html.  You can read her blog, bio, and check out her books for parents and young girls.  Until next time, feel free to comment on this topic and join our journey to stay outside of the “Girl Box”!