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Program inspires girl power through running

In 2008 a new program was introduced to young girls in Lexington, the focus to not only empower them but to get them moving.

Saturday hundreds of girls will hit the pavement to run their first ever 5k race at Commonwealth stadium and for one mother and daughter running together will also be a first.

At Rosa Parks Elementary one after school program is all about girl power and running.

In four years, 1600 girls in Fayette County have taken part in the Girls On the Run program for 3rd to 8th graders.

Each week the girls meet to focus on building self-esteem, creating a healthy lifestyle and training to run.

At the end of each year the girls strap on their shoes and run a 5k.

For many girls the program is life changing, including Megan Milton who is finishing up her first year with Girls On the Run.

"I like running because everybody encourages you," said Megan Milton.

Megan isn't the only one benefiting, she inspired her mom Dianne to get moving too.

"I was not a runner and I ran a mile and a half, that's half the race and she looked up at me and said momma now aren't you proud of yourself," said Dianne Milton.

Together these two now share time running together and talking more about all the things that can crop up in a young girl's life that might otherwise be tough to talk about.

"Self confidence, self esteem, peer pressure. It's a wonderful program all together that every young girl should need and want." said Milton.

Recently the national founder of Girls On the Run, Molly Barker was in Lexington to see first hand the success the program is having here.

"The curriculum really does transform, it really does help girls really tap into their full potential," said Molly Barker, Founder of Girls On the Run.

Barker's hope for girls like Megan is to finish the program strong and confident, something she is taking in stride literally.

The Girls On the Run 5k begins Saturday May 19th, at 8:30 at Commonwealth stadium.

There are 900 people registered to run, including 350 girls from the program.


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