Empowering Our Youth: A Girls on the Run Family Affair

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Creating a world where every girl taps into her limitless potential. That's the mission of Girls On The Run-Sierras, a KOLOCares Pillar Partner.

This non-profit is only possible thanks to volunteers, coaches and the bright faces of third through fifth graders. Rollan Melton Elementary is one of the almost 30 schools that opens its doors to Girls On The Run in Washoe County.

There you'll find fourth grader Millie Batavia, her mom Lindsey, who comes after school to help coach Girls On The Run, and Millie's father Jeff, who is in his first year as principal.

“More green time, less screen time is a philosophy we use at our house,” Jeff explains.

For the Batavias, two of their daughters consider Girls On The Run a must for their peers. Their youngest hasn’t reached the age to participate just yet. The added family support is a big bonus.

"My dad, he'll really give me confidence. I don't know where he gets these awesome...he'll be like, you can do it Millie, you've just really got to push through this. You got this,” Millie tell us.

“The biggest gift to me, being a working mom, having any time that is devoted to being with them and also with the other girls who are there, you build a bond with these girls on the team, because you spend ten weeks, two days a week,” Lindsey states.

What the participants gain through the program is priceless, as Jeff details, “You start seeing them having a little bit more louder voice, having a little more backbone to something that they believe in and those things that they believe in are kindness and respect, empathy for others and so that's kind of one of the things that as a father you want your child to have is confidence. That's one of my biggest goals for my kids.”

From the 5K in the fall to weekly sessions to lifelong growth and joy, it's programs like Girls On The Run that empower our future and the Batavias say there is no better feeling than being involved.