Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. We teach life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.
The Board of Directors for Girls on the Run New Jersey North is pleased to announce new staffing changes to our council leadership structure that will enable our council to continue to build a sustainable program and expand program impact in our communities of Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Sussex counties. Deb Siipola, the founding Executive Director for Girls on the Run New Jersey North, will be moving from the Executive Director position to Director of Partnerships and Development. Deb has been the Executive Director for last five years, first in a volunteer capacity and then as a part-time employee.
During her tenure, Deb helped establish the council, expand the council into 4 counties, and provide scholarships for over 200 girls. In the past 5 years, GOTR NJN has served over 2000 girls. Recognizing that it is time for the council to have a full-time executive director, Deb has decided to step down from the Executive Director role and will provide leadership to the council in new ways. The board is incredibly grateful for the leadership that Deb provided during her tenure and in this transition and are thrilled she will still be part of the leadership structure at New Jersey North. Deb stated, “Serving as Executive Director has been a wonderful experience. I have grown in many ways and will always treasure the opportunities provided to me. I am excited for this new challenge and grateful to be a part of this amazing organization as we continue to grow and serve more girls.”
The Board is also excited to announce that Maureen Dykstra will become our new Executive Director as of October 17, 2016. As a founding Board member and GOTR coach, Maureen has already contributed to our council’s success and is thrilled to move into this full time role. Through coaching, Maureen has seen firsthand the positive changes in the body and mind that a healthy lifestyle can make in a child’s life. Maureen graduated from Syracuse University and she worked for many years as a pharmaceutical sales representative.
It has always been our goal to provide a quality program for our girls and allow all girls the ability to reach their “limitless potential.” We are truly looking forward to the next chapter in our council’s growth and development.
The Board of Directors at Girls on the Run New Jersey North
We are planning to run the Alexa Thunder Run 1/2 Marathon in November but if we aren’t properly trained in time, we plan to cheer on all our friends running the NYC Marathon that day!….so please help us in reaching our goal of $750 by that time! Ryan and I are running pals and he hopes that one day his daughter can participate in this wonderful program, once she is old enough.
Carrie Allport first started volunteering with Girls on the Run in San Antonio in 2012. From the beginning, she wished she had had something like Girls on the Run when she was a girl growing up. She has served as a coach, a running buddy, and a SoleMate, as well as a busy bee behind the scenes recruiting & training coaches, coordinating volunteer efforts, supporting events & 5Ks, communicating through social media channels, fundraising & donor appreciation through organization development, and now, most importantly, as a GOTR parent & cheerleader! The mission and core values of Girls on the Run inspires her and her daughters to live a joy-filled, healthy, and confident lifestyle.
What better way to share their love of GOTR with others than as SoleMates? Carrie and her daughter, Maggie, are raising funds for GOTRNJN as they prepare to run the Girls on the Run New Jersey North 5K this Fall. Maggie was the recipient of scholarship assistance for registration fees last Fall and had an amazing opportunity to participate on a team at her school. She wanted to pay it forward and help raise scholarship monies for other girls who desire the same experience with GOTRNJN.
By serving as SoleMates, they are doing much more than achieving a personal fitness goal. They are sharing their own commitment to the values Girls on the Run is instilling in girls everywhere to celebrate their physical and emotional health. They are advocating for all girls and future generations of women who understand and embrace who they are, define who they want to be, rise to any challenge, and know they can change the world!
When I am not running I love spending time with my husband and children. I spend a lot of time on the sidelines of their sports games and being their chauffeur.
I am looking forward to being a coach for my first season of GOTR this fall and sharing this new found passion with my team of girls and my 9yr old daughter. It’s never to late to try something new and nothing is impossible!