From the Heart: A Q&A with Members of the Girls on the Run Bexar County Community

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Girls on the Run Bexar County volunteers and leaders believe it takes more than a village to share with young girls that they are inherently powerful and full of potential. From coaches to sponsors to board members, the GOTR Bexar County community is working toward a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Girls on the Run is an international organization that inspires joy, health, and confidence in 8- to 12-year old girls (3rd-8th grade) through a curriculum-based program that integrates running. This 10-week after school program teaches positive social, emotional, and physical development while encouraging physical activity and community engagement. Lessons focus on issues that affect the modern-day girl including bullying, self-advocacy, and friendships.

Each 10-week season culminates in a community service project, where girls define their community and work together as a team to make their community better. Past Community Impact Projects have included raising money for local charities, beautifying school grounds, and delivering care packages to communities impacted by tragedy.

The GOTR 5K is the final event of the season. The moment a girl crosses the finish line is the moment she realizes she CAN set and complete a goal; the Finish Line is just the beginning. 

Girls on the Run Bexar County, an independent 501(c)(3), was founded in 2010 with a program at Hawthorne Academy in San Antonio ISD. Since its first season in 2011, the council has served hundreds of local girls in multiple school districts. In 2017-2018, over 750 young girls were able to experience this remarkable program. The local council, like all Girls on the Run councils, is responsible for its own local fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and more.

Serving so many girls certainly does take a village of committed volunteers in multiple roles. Hear from our community what it means to be a part of this organization:

Courtney Domingue, GOTR Coach

“Being a coach this season [Fall 2018] taught me that it is important to find balance, but more specifically to find the joy and fun in my everyday endeavors. The girls taught me that no matter what is thrown my way–family matters, work deadlines, or common stressors–to take a moment to breathe and think of all the amazing things that I am gifted. I am so grateful for GOTR and the tremendous work this organization does for coaches like me!”

Eric Bocanegra, Running Buddy

“My personal favorite moment was in 2016 when I was allowed to participate as a Running Buddy with a little girl who had just immigrated from Mexico. She told me how happy & excited she was about all the new friends she had made thanks to Girls on the Run. Being able to run along such a bright little girl who has hopes of being a doctor and motivating & pushing her along the way was very special and meaningful. Moments like that make life complete, so thank you Girls on the Run for allowing me to share a family’s special moment that I will take with me wherever I go.”

Sally Seeker, GOTR Bexar County Board Chair

“As the board chair, I know that our staff and board members truly inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.  At the end of every season, I am not only inspired by the girls completing their 5K and the community/volunteers who support them, but also how far they’ve come since the start of the semester – they really develop as individuals, teammates, and members of the community.”

Chris Wright, GOTR Bexar County Community Engagement Team Lead

“I want everyone to know that Girls on the Run is one of the most inclusive organizations. Although all of the participants are girls, and most of the volunteers are women, I have always felt welcomed as a male volunteer. I have also felt that my suggestions have been appreciated. It’s truly a great organization to be a part of, and I am thankful for the many friendships that I have developed with some great men and women!”

GOTR participant, Los Reves Elementary

“What I’ve learned from [my] experience is to keep going and never give up, believe in yourself. It felt amazing that I crossed the finish line, because I was able to finish a 5K and I’ve never done that  before.”

Minka Misangyi, GOTRBC Executive Director

“One of our Heart & Sole (6th-8th grade) coaches told us about a girl who struggled with relationships.  She had a rough time in school and solved her problems with her fists. One day, this girl told her team that she was proud of herself. That day at school some girls were calling her names. She said that her normal reaction would have been to get into a fight with the girls, but, she said, she remembered what she learned about Pressing Pause in Girls on the Run, and she walked away instead.”

Andrea Wagner, Program Manager

“We will start our Spring 2019 season in February, which is lining up to be our biggest season yet!  It is so exciting to see our programs grow in the city and helping so many girls find their voice in this world.”

Our Spring 2019season begins in February and registration is now open! We are always seeking coaches and volunteers who are passionate about serving young girls throughout the season! Find out more about all the ways to volunteer with GOTR Bexar County here.

GOTR Bexar County strives to ensure that all girls have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run. Over 60% of our participants receive full or partial scholarships every season so that we never have to turn away a girl. Your gift ensures we can continue to achieve this goal!

Hear directly from our community members in this video!

A fifth-generation San Antonionian - who happened to spend her formative years in Austin - Amanda loves the SAT from the confetti in her hair to the bluebonnets under her feet. Never one to miss a reason to host a party or decorate for a theme, Amanda revels in the 'mas Fiesta' attitude of the city. She's mom to Vivi (2012) aka #HurricaneVivi, Mac (2020) and wife to Francois, whom she met at Texas A&M (FTAC '05). She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Doctorate in Making it Up As She Goes - which means she's a sometimes-fun-mom. You can find her on Instagram . She loves confetti, croissants, and a cold Ranch Water. Favorite Restaurant: Piatti's Favorite Landmark: Johnson Street footbridge in King William Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Fiesta Medals