Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cast your vote for this special runner!

As you may or may not know, the program Girls on the Run International holds a special place in my heart. Several of my students were participants in the program when I was teaching in Charlotte, NC and I saw it transform their lives . . . and through their growth, the program transformed my life. Anyhow . . . you can read more about THAT on my website, but that's not really why I'm posting this, it is just the background.

You may have heard about the Youth Achievement Awards being given at the ESPN ESPY's this year in LA. It is the first time that they are honoring youth, so it is a very exciting thing. One of the finalists for the award is a Girls on the Run participant - Nichyria. You can visit the site and check out her story (and, to be fair, check out the other 4 youth, too . . . but you know deep in your heart, you'll choose the RUNNER!) about her growth and her personal goals, which were inspired by the lessons she learned through the power of running and Girls on the Run. I promise the time you spend on the site is WELL worth it! This girl will inspire YOU!!!

The Girls on the Run of Chicago Executive Director Kelly O'Brien reports this:

"Nichyria is up on the web, putting herself out there for people all over America to "vote." Every day, the web tells you the score. Right now she is, according to the vicious web, in "last" place. This KILLS me. We all, every one of us, work so hard to let these kids know that they are all FIRST. They are all special. The rest of the world is not always so kind .

So I write to you with two specific requests:

1. Please, please, vote for her once each day. You can do this right through the Girls on the Run homepage at www.girlsontherun.org.

2. Please spread the word! Send to your friends and family, post on your website, your MySpace pages, your blogs, email to your friends. We need to get the word out.

Yes, Nichryia happens to be from Chicago. But she represents ALL our girls. She represents all that is so great about GOTR, and I want to give her the best chance to shine for us, but also be sure she knows that she's already a star! "

I echo this request and have already put in my vote for this special girl today - and will do so each day until the voting closes. This is a great way for us all to pass along our passion for running and to recognize the strength that running brings to character and self-esteem development!