Celebrating 25 Years of Empowerment with Girls on the Run Vermont

GOTRVT Leaders embracing at a 5K event

As a longtime statewide sponsor of Girls on the Run Vermont, we're thrilled to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

Girls on the Run Vermont (GOTRVT)’s mission is to help girls recognize their potential and rise above limiting gender expectations, societal obstacles, and cultural challenges. Across the state, GOTRVT programs for third to eighth graders blend physical activity with life skill development, including managing emotions, fostering friendships, and expressing empathy. 

This year, GOTRVT is celebrating a huge milestone: 25 years of inspiring young girls in Vermont! 

Considering this anniversary as a statewide sponsor, it feels like the perfect time to reflect on the profound impact this program has had on participants, coaches, and families over the years. So, we talked with a few of our employees who have been directly involved.

Tamara smiling at the 2023 GOTRVT Essex 5K Event
Tamara Jacobsen at the 2023 GOTRVT Essex 5K

A Coach’s Perspective

For Senior Accountant Tamara Jacobsen, being a coach is all about nurturing girls' growth as individuals. Through GOTRVT's curriculum, Tamara witnessed firsthand how the program instills values like embracing differences and conflict resolution -- essential skills for navigating life's challenges. 

Her favorite memory? A heartwarming scene during a 5k practice where girls rallied around a struggling teammate. “Everyone finished the last lap together,” she says with pride. 

As Tamara eagerly embarks on another season of coaching, her message to prospective coaches is: “If you want to be an active part of your community, make a difference in someone’s life, and grow as an individual -- this is the opportunity for you. It’s a fun and enriching experience for everyone involved.”

Nurturing Confidence and Friendship

During the challenging transition from childhood to adolescence, GOTRVT provided a safe space for Vice President & General Counsel Rebecca Heintz’s daughter. Through the program, she learned to embrace her physical abilities and gained confidence, ultimately becoming an avid runner. “As her mother, it was so gratifying to see her take charge of her physical self and be proud of her body and how fast she could run,” Rebecca shares. “Even thinking about it today, so many years later, it brings tears to my eyes recalling how happy she was running across that finish line.”

Senior Project Manager Heidi Orton witnessed her own daughter’s shy demeanor transform into confidence through participation in GOTRVT. Heidi says that the program focuses on allowing girls to be themselves and helped her daughter to forge important female friendships. Heidi cherishes the memories of running alongside her daughter and witnessing the collective support among participants during the final run. “[We] have done a lot of runs together, but this was definitely the most memorable for me,” Heidi shares.

“It’s an incredibly affirming experience for young women,” Rebecca adds.

Empowering Future Generations

GOTRVT’s dedication to whole person wellness (body, brain, heart, spirit, and social connection) is why we’ve been a proud statewide sponsor for nearly 20 years. “They have had such an impact on the young people in this state and we are just thrilled to be supporters of their work,” shares Director of Community Relations Megan Peek.

Looking for a similar program for young men? Learn more about our Velocity afterschool program!

With scholarships available to alumni, GOTRVT ensures that their support doesn’t end when the girls graduate middle school. In 2024, GOTRVT will award two scholarships in the amount of $2,500 per recipient.  Each scholarship is renewable for up to three years, amounting to up to $10,000 in total.

Beyond their engaging youth programs, GOTRVT offers many ways for Vermonters to get involved in their mission annually. You can become a coach like Tamara, attend a fundraising Sneaker Soiree, or volunteer at a 5k! They also offer one-time and project-based volunteer opportunities. 

By supporting programs like GOTRVT, we are helping to empower the next generation one stride at a time. As proud sponsors, we’re looking forward to another 25 years of GOTRVT!