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Minnetonka woman founds nonprofit fighting for gender equality during gap year

Minnetonka woman spends gap year founding nonprofit
Minnetonka woman spends gap year founding nonprofit 02:08

MINNETONKA, Minn. — A Minnetonka grad is taking her idea for a nonprofit and running with it. 

Nineteen-year-old Maya Mor spent her gap year creating "Girls Run Global."

It might be her first time launching a nonprofit, but advocating for gender equality is nothing new for her.

"In fourth grade, I was doing presentations on why the women's team should play on grass like the men's instead of turf," she said. "Running for me has completely changed my life for the better. And I think every runner can agree after a good run you feel empowered and capable to take on anything."

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It's a feeling she wants to share. And why combining her passion for gender equality with her love for running made sense. Girls Run Global aims to empower girls through the sport, specifically in underdeveloped countries, where the gender gap is most significant. First stop: Tanzania.

"Our mission is to use the sport as a vehicle to empower girls and equip them with skills to succeed in other areas of life," she said.

Mor's team is partnering with a secondary school near Morogoro, Tanzania called SEGA Girls School. The response has been overwhelming – nearly 70 girls signed up for the running team, which Mor will help implement next month.

Maya Mor WCCO

"Running has been shown to improve self-esteem, sense of purpose, confidence. It's this great team environment while also an opportunity to push yourself individually and I think that's what we want to translate to these girls," Mor said.

Mor says running is low cost and low resources, which makes it pretty accessible. Each girl will be matched with the equipment and resources they need to be successful in the sport. But to make their mission happen, they need donations.

"I really want to be able to share this love that I have for the sport with these girls," Mor said.

For more information on how you can help the Girls Run Global mission, click here.

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