Kim Rivera has long thought about teaching young girls about self-esteem through running. Now she is working to make that a reality by bringing Girls on the Run, an international organization, to Berks County.
"Girls on the Run is a 12-week program to empower young girls- in grades 3 through 8- to believe in themselves, be fit and healthy, and develop the skills to resist the temptations of peer pressure and make wiser decisions,"; said Kim, who is a graduate of RACC and now works as an Administrative Assistant at the College.
Girls on the Run, which functions like an after-school program, creatively incorporates running with lessons about self-esteem, peer pressure, team-building, and making positive contributions to the community. The program led by certified volunteer coaches also includes a community service project chosen by the girls and culminates with a 5K race.
Kim first heard about the program from her former running partner and quickly discovered local chapters in Lancaster, Montgomery and Lehigh counties, but nothing in Berks. She is now applying to create an officially sanctioned council, which would allow her to launch Girls on the Run here in Berks. "As part of the application process, we need to develop a business plan, submit a proposed budget and put together our steering committee," she said.
Kim said she is using the skills she learned at RACC to try to make this dream a reality. "I served as SGA President when I was here, so I'm using a lot of those leadership skills," Kim said, "and I received so much support from instructors and staff that it gave me the confidence to overcome my shyness and be successful."
Kim earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Temple University and has spent the last 12 years working at RACC while also laying the groundwork to successfully build Girls on the Run. "I feel like I was meant to come back here and bring Girls on the Run to Berks County," she added.
Right now, Kim is working hard to raise awareness about Girls on the Run. You can find them on facebook at Girls on the Run Berks, and Y102 morning radio host Jackie Hoffman is also promoting the program.
Girls on the Run Berks will make its first appearance at the Annual RACC 5KRun or Walk on Sunday, Apr. 15. They will have a booth set up with more information on efforts to bring the program to Berks and ways to get involved. Read more about the RACC Run and another RACC staff member who contributes positively to the promotion of physical and mental fitness.