Part of HYPE’s mission is to help young professionals become better engaged in community life, expand professional and social opportunities, and become ambassadors for the Hartford Region. HYPE encourages cross-collaboration among agencies and organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer in the community. The Community Conversations series focuses on interviewing professionals in a local nonprofit to bring awareness to their mission, highlight their impact in the community, and provide information on how to get more involved with the organization. For the June 2019 edition Community Involvement Committee member Cristina Capobianco interviewed Christina Buettel, Board Chair of the Greater Hartford Council of Girls on the Run.
What is the mission of your organization?
Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit positive youth-development organization for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. This national program has served over one million girls in its 22 years.
GOTR inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. GOTR teaches girls needed life-skills of Confidence, Character, Care & Compassion, Competence, Connections and Contribution.
What is your role within the organization?
Christina is Board Chair for GOTR Greater Hartford. She works with other board members and committee volunteers to build and execute strategy on how to thoughtfully grow the program to serve more girls in the Greater Hartford region.
How do you implement your services or programs?
GOTR is a 12 week after-school program for girls that encourages moving of all kinds, whether it's running, skipping, jumping, or walking - the goal is to just keep moving forward.
Each bi-weekly session involves a lesson and conversation, physical activity, and a vote for that day's Energy Award, given to the girl who most displays the attributes of the lesson.
The season ends with a celebratory 5k that the girls participate in. Girls also create and execute a community impact project.
In what ways has your organization been impactful to your cause?
GOTR is unique in that it gets girls moving, teaches life lessons, and gives them the opportunity to form friendships with girls from different backgrounds.
The GOTR Greater Hartford Council began in June 2016. The program is available in two dozen schools and community centers, serving over 500 girls in the Greater Hartford and New Haven area to date.
Roughly a third of program girls are on scholarship (fees are partially or fully funded by fundraising and donations).
How does someone get more involved?
There are many ways to get involved (even if you don't enjoy running!)
- Become an awesome coach
- Volunteer at a celebratory 5k run (event set up, be a running buddy)
- Thinking about running a 5k, half, or full marathon? GOTR returns to the Eversource Hartford Marathon as a charity partner and would love for you to join the Solemates fundraising team!
Check out the Girls on the Run Greater Hartford website for all opportunities.