What difference does it make if a girl enters her pivotal adolescent years self-confident and disciplined, with a strong sense of self-worth? For some, it makes all the difference. That is why Girls on the Run pairs evidence-based character education with running instruction. GOTR-DC coaches over 2,000 girls a year across all DC wards, equipping them with the skills and encouragement they need to meet life’s challenges: from peer pressure and bullying, to body image and healthy relationships. During each 10-week program, trained volunteer coaches mentor teams of 8-15 girls in grades 3-8, exploring key character education topics while helping the girls set individual goals and prepare for a season-culminating 5K event. Scholarships (provided to more than 60% of participants) ensure that girls of all economic backgrounds – 12,000 DC girls since 2006 – are empowered to believe in themselves, value healthy relationships, encourage their team, and have an impact on the community in which they live. Let’s give them support (and cheers) all the way to the finish line.