Girls on the Run named MOST INFLUENTIAL in HEALTH & WELLNESS by the NAA

Girls on the Run Program Named MOST INFLUENTIAL in HEALTH & WELLNESS by the NAA

NAA’s Most Influential in Health and Wellness 2017

The inaugural National AfterSchool Association’s Most Influential in Health and Wellness selections and honorable mentions are distinguished for their strong advocacy for and support of health and wellness in afterschool.

Those honored represent individuals and organizations whose service, action and leadership align with and support NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards and affect large numbers of youth, families or afterschool professionals, if not all.

NAA’s Most Influential in Health and Wellness 2017 is proudly sponsored by The Walking Classroom, a nonprofit organization that helps youth get fresh air and exercise while reinforcing academic subjects, health literacy and character values.


MostInf GirlsontheRun

Girls on the Run
Charlotte, North Carolina |
Responses provided by Heather Pressley, Vice President of Programming

What is your greatest achievement related to Health and Wellness in afterschool?
“Girls on the Run provides a safe and welcoming space where girls can thrive. Our intentional curriculum effectively integrates life skills learning with physical activity to provide girls with the skills and confidence to navigate their lives with purpose and joy. With a focus on quality program delivery, our formal volunteer training ensures that coaches are fostering positive, supportive relationships in a caring, inclusive climate. While our evaluations show that participants become more active and learn important life skills such as intentional decision-making, managing emotions and helping others, there is no greater achievement than hearing directly from a girl we serve about the impact that our program has had on her life. As Calla, age 8, shared, ‘Because of Girls on the Run, I know I am amazing just the way I am.'”

What do you hope to achieve related to Health and Wellness in afterschool?
“Now, more than ever, we are committed to our vision of a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. As such, we have dedicated significant resources to formally assess and address barriers to participation, to ensure our program is accessible to any girl who wants to participate. We are being purposeful about developing best practices, relationships and resources to support our network of councils as they engage new sites to host our program and expand into underserved communities. It is critically important that girls learn that they are the leaders of their lives with the power and potential to change the world, and we have a deep responsibility to ensure that all girls are given this valuable life-changing opportunity.”