by Amanda Marr
I am a (fairly) long-time resident of the Forest Hills neighborhood, arriving here in 2006 after a couple of years in DuPont Circle. Driving around the neighborhood, I questioned whether or not we were still really in DC. Immediately, I was sold.
I first resided on Linnean Avenue before moving to the Brandywine apartment building and eventually to 35th street behind Bread Furst (a dangerously delicious location). My daughter and I were regulars at the Forest Hills playground, and she is currently a fifth grader at Murch Elementary. Aside from the first few months of her life, she has always called this neighborhood home.
Every day, I venture out of the area to my office, which conveniently is only two miles down the road in Woodley Park. I work for a nonprofit association whose members include nonprofit aging services providers. We are proud to include Forest Hills of DC and Ingleside at Rock Creek as members.
In my “downtime,” I am proud to serve as chair of the board of directors for Girls on the Run – DC. This nonprofit organization runs a primarily afterschool program for girls in grades 3 through 5. The 10-week long program includes weekly lessons about many of the issues girls face as they grow older such as self-confidence, being kind to others, the dangers of gossip, positive behaviors, and more. During the 10 weeks, the girls also train to run a 5K, which is the culminating activity.
I stumbled upon this program long before my now 11-year old daughter was out of her stroller (though she would go on to complete the program three times). As a runner myself, I was immediately intrigued. For me, running has offered so much more than just exercise. I loved the idea of incorporating lessons that can last a lifetime and help young girls be healthy, joyful, and confident.
I began as a volunteer when the program was relatively new. Eventually, the executive director approached me and asked me if I’d be interested in joining the board. Though I had never been on a board, I jumped in deciding I could Google what I needed to know.
Fast-forward 6 years and my Google research paid off. I am honored now to lead our amazing group of board members, totaling 10 and growing. To date, the program has served more than 12,000 girls in every ward of the city. We are proud to bring together families from different cultures and backgrounds. We also provide scholarships to more than 60% of the girls. 100% of our fundraising efforts go to making sure that every girl can participate.
On Sunday, June 4th, we are excited to bring our 5k to Freedom Plaza – a big move for the organization. We are inviting everyone (strollers welcome!) in DC to walk or run the course through the heart of the city to support Girls on the Run – DC. Register now.
If you’d like more information about the organization or you are interested in volunteering, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, donations are happily accepted.
Girls on the Run – DC is truly a community-based program and we also count Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh as one of our biggest supporters. She has run the 5k with our girls many times.
I look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood. I spend a lot of time at the Soapstone Market, running the trails in Rock Creek Park, and, of course, at Bread Furst. My dog Calvin and my daughter Claire are usually in tow.