Girls on the Run empowerment program helps build bodies and self-esteem

Memphis, Tenn. — Running, sit-ups and lunges can help to build strong muscles, but they can also help boost self-esteem.

Girls on the Run Memphis is a girl empowerment program with a goal to do just that.

Executive Director Joanna Lipman said the organization uses physical activity and dynamic discussions to build social, physical, and emotional skills while encouraging healthy habits of life.

“Our purpose is to encourage girls to find their joy and their confidence and to find that they have limitless potential,” Lipman said.

With two after-school programs for elementary and middle school girls, participants go through a series of lessons over the course of eight weeks.

“It’s topics that are interesting to them that they’re dealing with in their daily lives,” Lipman said.

“How to understand how to be a good friend, to approach something that might be difficult with a more positive attitude.

Since 2018, Girls on the Run Memphis has served almost 430 girls at various program sites around the city.

Evie Johns and Carlee Rogers are both in the program for middle school students.

“I think I’ve learned a lot about positivity and emotions, but also about physical fitness as well,” Johns said.

“And I really enjoyed it, because it makes me feel very positive and happy doing it.”

“I like Girls on the Run because I get to interact with other people and find out what we have in common and stuff and make new friends,” Rogers said.

Even in a pandemic, coaches like Angela Graves have found a way to teach girls virtually.

“I love coaching the girls because they bring their energy and their enthusiasm to practice, and it helps uplift me as a woman and as a person to see the smile on their face when they’re crushing their goals and achieving what they want to achieve,” Graves said.

“It just makes me smile.”

Registration for the Spring season is now open.