On a recent morning in Washington, D.C., a group of young girls was on the run. They were training for a 5K a couple of times a week, but along the way, they also learned they can accomplish anything.
Since 1996, the nationwide program Girls on the Run has empowered 8- to 13-year-olds by teaching them how to set and achieve personal goals, improving not only their health but also their self-esteem and happiness.
"We find that girls at the age of 9 begin to lose their confidence. By age 10 they start to become less physically active," said Devoria Armstead, the executive director of Girls on the Run - DC.
The program has gone the distance. In its 25 years, it's served more than 2 million girls. At the end of each season the girls complete a 5K, applying the skills they've learned, according to its website.
Ada Kehler, 8, said she is "learning to never give up and also keep trying." She said having her friends cheer her on helps her keep going.
"Girls on the Run has helped me so much that I feel like nothing is in my way of winning that race," said 9-year-old Tessa Lindsay.
And if empowering girls isn't enough, each team does a community service project, like writing letters to children's hospitals.
for more features.