During a sunset run in 1993, after years of questioning her self-worth and being defined by others, Molly Barker, found the inspiration that grew into Girls on the Run. Seeking a way to help girls recognize their extraordinary potential and thrive in a world that often sends them unhealthy and unrealistic messages, she began creating a solution.
In 1996, Molly piloted the earliest version of a lesson-based curriculum with 13 brave girls in Charlotte, North Carolina. The girls told their friends and those friends told more friends and in 2000, Girls on the Run became a 501c3 non-profit organization. Today, the organization serves girls in over 200 cities across the United States and Canada.
On July 1, 2012, Girls on the Run of Johnson County Kansas and Girls on the Run of Jackson County Missouri merged to become one unified council – Girls on the Run Serving Greater Kansas City. The combined council will reach more than 2,100 girls for the 2013 season. The service area of the combined council extends across Clay, Jackson, Cass and Platte in Missouri and Atchison, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte in Kansas.
Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth
development program designed to develop and enhance girls' social,
psychological, and physical competencies to successfully navigate life
experiences. In 2012-13, Girls on the Run of Greater Kansas City (GOTR-GKC)
served more than 1,600 girls and engaged more than 300 volunteer coaches. This
was a year of record growth for GOTR-GKC and we expect the number to increase
dramatically next year. Why? Because our program works. Results of our
study among program participants show that self-esteem increased significantly,
lifestyle behaviors such as eating healthier and participating in physical
activities increased and girls came out of the program with a better body image
and a significant increase in self-respect. In addition, due to the generosity
of community members, more than 45 percent of our program participants were
given full or partial scholarships, totaling over $100,000.
Goals for the upcoming year based on strategic plan:
“In the two seasons I have worked with Girls on the Run, I have seen numerous girls on our team open up in ways that I would not normally see happen…I couldn’t believe the change in attitudes and healthy behaviors I was seeing in the girls. They were all becoming more positive, confident, and active role models for their peers.” GOTR Coach, 2013
Positive. Confident. Healthy. These are words we hear every day at Girls on the Run teams across Kansas City. Our vision of a Kansas City community where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams is our driving force every day. Last year, we realized those dreams in so many ways. We had our first season with 1,000+ girls in fall 2013; then we blew that out of the water with 1,700+ girls in spring 2014. Our commitment to strong financials and sound operational efficiency was seen in a development of the three year strategic plan, a new website and a streamlined, cost effective online registration vendor. New staff and larger office space to support our growing operations. Exciting, right?
Lisa Pickard is the Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Greater Kansas City. In her role, she is responsible for all organizational and operational aspects of Girls on the Run including its administration, financial operations, revenue generation, program development and activities, personnel management and strategic planning. Prior to joining Girls on the Run, Lisa worked for Harvesters the Community Food Network.
Before entering the non-profit field, Lisa worked for 12 years as a marketing consultant and top-level moderator. In this role, she conducted hundreds of marketing engagements across the country with consumers and professionals of all types. Clients included PepsiCo, El Torito Restaurant Group, Kohl’s Stores, Siemens Technology, Cricket Wireless and other Fortune 500 companies.Prior to consulting, Lisa’s worked as the Director of Research where she was responsible for managing all the market research functions for a chain of 300+ restaurants across the Western and Southern United States. Lisa also served as a Senior Manager of Product Research with Pepsico’s Taco Bell Division.
Lisa earned her Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from San Diego State University. She, along with her husband of 18 years and two teenage children, lives in Stilwell, Kansas.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
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