Celebrating Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run.
A fellow North Carolinian, Molly Barker has a Masters in Social Work and is a four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete. Based on her own experiences with self-image and self-worth, Barker founded Girls on the Run in 1996, creating a curriculum of instruction that focuses on the mental and physical health of young girls. She started running when she was fifteen, when she found herself being stuffed into what she terms the “girl box.”
The girl box is the place where many girls go around middle school when they begin to morph into what they think they should be instead of being who they really are. The messages of the girl box vary but the overarching theme comes from a culture rooted in the belief that girls and women must conform to a set of standards that are often unattainable and dangerous to our health and well-being.
Running empowered her to be different, to resist the complacency that is attributed by the girl box and all that it exemplifies, to be aware about her own role in society, and empowered. Using her background in running, teaching, research and social work, she advocates for the empowerment of other young girls experiencing the same issues she had to grapple with. She is a true champion and mentor of our girls. And she will be a guest speaker if asked. Check out her site and her two books.
Here’s the official video for Girls on the Run: