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Nov 06, 2015 04:00PM ● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.
Navigating today’s world can be a challenge for any adult and it can be especially challenging for young girls who are faced with issues such as body image, bullying, confidence, leadership, eating disorders, internet safety, and more. 

In search of a way to help combat these issues and equip young girls with the personal tools to empower them to be strong, confident leaders of tomorrow, Junior League of Lafayette worked with Girls on the Run South Louisiana, an independent council of the international program, to bring the successful program to Lafayette. Since 2009, Girls on the Run South Louisiana has grown from 24 girls and 2 schools to serving 1500 girls at over 65 public and private schools... That’s impressive. 

"Seeing how these girls transform from day one to the end of the semester is so inspiring.  They come in sometimes shy and unsure of the program and of us as coaches since we're essentially strangers.  We work to build their trust in us and help them to find their inner strength.  By the time the 5K race rolls around they are confident, empowered, and more self-aware.  The girls not only learn the importance of exercise and nutrition, but more important are the tools we give them to grow into strong and self-assured young women.  Lessons like the importance of positive self-talk and how to express and recognize feelings also reminds me of some of the things I need to work on in my own life as an adult."

Lizzie Ellis

Junior League Committee Chairperson and Girls on the Run Certified Coach 

The Girls on the Run program is for girls in grades 3-8 and is a 10-week program with a specific curriculum taught by coaches certified by Girls on the Run. The curriculum includes three parts: understanding themselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how to connect with and shape the world. 

Girls from several Lafayette schools meet each week at area Boys and Girls Club locations for sessions that are always fun and exciting and allow them to meet new friends. Running is used to inspire and motivate the girls to take charge of their lives and realize their limitless potential while at the same time gaining an appreciation of fitness and building a foundation of healthy habits to last a lifetime.  Each session culminates in a thrilling 5K race for the girls, coaches, running buddies, families, volunteers and spectators. 

This incredible program positively impacts not only the girls, but the coaches, families, and volunteers alike.

For this session, the Girls on the Run 5K race will take place Saturday, December 5th at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette at 9:00am.  Everyone in the community is invited to attend.

“Over the course of the program, girls will develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.”  ~Girls On The Run

  Junior League of Lafayette is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.