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Our Girls on the Run

The Sacred Paths Youth Services program invites the community to come and celebrate the accomplishments of 23 young Native American girls this coming Saturday morning, June 2nd, 2018 at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City at the annual Girls on the Run Utah 5k. Since mid March the girls have come to the center every week to take part in a 10 week program taught by volunteer coaches Gay Pinnecoose, Jackie Shirley, Leanna Vankeuren, Sarah Winder, and Youth Program Coordinator Penelope Pinnecoose. The girls trained in two different groups, one for 3rd to 5th graders, the other 6th to 8th. This allowed the girls to focus on issues relevant to their needs.

Volunteer Coach Gay Pinnecoose leads the 3rd - 5th grade girls through a lesson.

Each lesson plan they’ve completed, interwove healthy lifestyle, team building activities, problem solving exercises, goal setting, self-care, and of course, running. They learned to listen and share their beliefs, their experiences and challenges that they face with each other. “What we’ve found is that the girls really like the friendships and interactions they have during the training. In their schools they might be the only Native in their class, so by coming here they get to be around other girls like them.” states Penelope Pinnecoose, Youth Program Coordinator.

The 6th to 8th graders gather around to hear instructions.

This is the second year Sacred Paths Youth Services has sponsored a team in the annual event. “We had really good participation and feedback from the girls last year, so we decided to offer the program again,” she continues.  “Initially we wanted to do a program that incorporated a healthy lifestyle, and what we liked about the Girls on the Run is that it incorporates more than just running in their plan such as healthy relationships, confidence, character, and compassion for others.”

As part of the program each girl received a new pair of running shoes.

The celebration kicks off at 7 AM with the 5k starting at 9 AM. Hope to see you there supporting our girls who run.