Posted Mayanthi Jayawardena on 3/12/2019 |General
Think of a woman who inspires you. This can be anyone from your mother to Michelle Obama. Go with the first person that comes to mind and then reflect on them. Why does she inspire you? What do you admire most about her? Why (and how) has she impacted your life?
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”
In my life, I know this quote to be true. Some of the best support systems and sources of inspiration, courage and strength have come from the incredible women that I have had the privilege to meet throughout my life. From family members and community members to national icons and historical figures, I have found that every woman has an incredible story of resilience, fierceness, and hard work and that I can learn so much from each of them.
These relationships were pivotal to my growth and development as a young girl. They still impact me and I realize that I naturally seek out informal mentorship relationships or form sisterhoods with women that inspire me. I joined Girls on the Run for this very reason. These relationships changed my life and everything that GOTR strives to do directly impacts our girls and coaches in the same way.
If I had to pick two words to describe what I gained from coaching, they would have to be sisterhood and mentorship.
Sisterhood: There is nothing more powerful than a group of women, who value and respect each other, gathering to learn and grow from one another. Throughout my life, I have cultivated/found groups like these and have invested a lot into them. Working at and coaching GOTR has been the same experience for me! Not only do I meet women that have the same interests and values, but I have also gained such great friendships and have learned so much from my co-coaches.
Mentorship: Just as impactful is the relationship that we have with the girls on our teams. The girls see the meaningful connections between the coaches and this fosters even stronger bonds between the girls on our teams. The girls look up to coaches and , as a coach, it has been so fulfilling to watch the girls blossom into leaders right in front of my eyes. These relationships are so critical to girl development. I still am close to my mentors growing up and I still keep in touch with anyone I have ever guided.
At the end of the day, my experience with GOTR has added immeasurable value to my life!
As women, we have an incredible power and ability to impact the world in such a wonderful way. Through GOTR, this power is cultivated, harnessed and nourished. Together is better and, as Queen Bey says, “Who run the world? Girls!”