How long have you been a Girls on the Run Coach? 1st year.
Where did you grow up? I have had the pleasure of growing up in Atlanta, Georgia for the past 17 years. My parents built our house in Inman Park almost 20 years ago, and I could not be happier to live in such a wonderful place full of so much culture. It’s the perfect balance of city life and tradition.
What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run? I think the most rewarding thing about GOTR is the idea that you have the power to make a positive change about how a girl sees herself, her life, and her future. Being able to empower young girls is a gift that I would not trade for anything.
What attracted you to coaching? I was attracted to GOTR because I actually went through the program myself in elementary school. I loved the life lessons behind each practice, and I felt like it has empowered me now to keep doing things “like a girl.” Through GOTR, I was able to recognize that I am strong, beautiful, and capable to do anything I put my mind to.
Do you have a particular coaching experience or a favorite lesson that stands out? My favorite lesson is the lesson about the difference between advertisements and what true beauty really means. This year, the coaches and I printed out photos of empowering vs. not empowering ads. There is one ad in particular by Victoria’s Secret, bearing the title “The Perfect Body,” with thin models on the cover that we showed the girls. To show the girls what true beauty actually is, we showed them the Dove campaign ad with the same title, “The Perfect Body,” but on the cover there were women of all different shapes, ethnicities, and sizes posing confidently on the cover. I feel like this lesson really resonated with the girls, and I noticed that each of them seemed to walk a little taller after we ended the practice.
What do you do when you are not coaching Girls on the Run? Most of the time I am playing my guitar in my room. I recently just released my own album on iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora, so I love to continue to write songs and just mess around on the guitar. It serves as a sort of musical therapy for me now. [Check out her recent interview with Fox 5 and an excerpt of her new album.]
Who is an inspiration to you? My inspiration is my church youth group pastor, Tina McCormick. She has been there for me since elementary school, and I admire her kindness, bravery, and ability to make anyone feel confident in themselves. She serves as an example for me every day.