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Young girls running group exercises body, mind

'They teach us about star power and our feelings,' says member of Girls on the Run
Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 08:35:11-05

WEST PAL BEACH, Fla. — A group of young ladies in Palm Beach County is putting on their running shoes as they take on life challenges, one step at a time.

"We teach them skills that will help them reach their potential and develop that potential," said Diane Evans, the council director for Girls on the Run.

The nonprofit is exercising more than just young girls' personal fitness, as they teach third- through eighth-grade girls all about goal-setting, having a positive body image and more.

"It's a really impactful time in their lives, so we get them at a time where we can help them develop positive skills as opposed to developing negative skills," said Evans.

Volunteers like Nannette Cassidy have been with Girls on the Run for five years and said the group is a safe space for young girls to express themselves.

"They learn trust and they start sharing their lives, and it's very impactful because they come up with solutions for some of the problems they may have been having and didn't know who to turn to or 'How do I figure this out?'" said Cassidy.

Volunteers said, since the pandemic began, many children became isolated and distant, but in the last 11 years, the group has brought together nearly 3,000 girls in Palm Beach County.

"They teach us about star power and our feelings and expressing our feeling," said Reese Bivvy, a member of Girls on the Run.

"We have found that girls need connection more than ever, and Girls on the Run helps them do that because they build a camaraderie and teamwork," said Evans.

Next month, Girls on the Run is hosting its seasonal 5K and welcomes future Girls on the Run to sign up for the courses. All social levels are welcome.

"The shyer the better," said Cassidy. "I promise, at the end, they will open up. It happens every time, 100% of the time."