'Learning about who they are:' Girls on the Run celebrates program completion with 5K

MILWAUKEE -- Girls on the Run hosted a 5K Sunday, Nov. 24, and the event marked a milestone in the growth of their minds, bodies, and spirits. The girls celebrated what makes them one of a kind.

Tina Jones

Participants were amped up because the day was finally here!

"We have over 50 teams and more than 640 girls that are going to run, walk, and skip across the finish line of our 5K," said Tina Jones, executive director of Girls on the Run Southeastern Wisconsin.

Sunday's Girls on the Run 5K was the culmination of a 10-week program for girls in third through eighth grade, all about building strong, confident young ladies.

Girls on the Run

Lyrique Jackson

"These girls are learning positive life lessons," said Jones. "They are learning about who they are, and they're learning about how they fit into the community."

They were ready to celebrate the skills they developed and the completion of their service project.

"They pick the project and implement it," said Jones. "It can run anything from making blankets for dogs and cats at the Humane Society to making cards for seniors to go to the senior center. It's all about helping the community and teaching these girls how they can make an impact."

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run

They worked together to make the community a better place, and for girls like Lyrique Jackson, the organization reinforces self-love.

"I want to show that you don't have to look like everyone else to be beautiful," said Jackson. "You can be whoever you want to be."

From emotional health to physical health, hundreds showed up to Miller Park in support, cheering the girls on.

Girls on the Run

Well-prepared for the course, they head toward the finish line, persevering through each lap and also their journey in life. Organizers said the program has served more than 2,000 girls in 2019 and impacted more than 10,000 girls and their families in the Milwaukee area since 2007.