The story of Girls Gotta Run Foundation is much the same as the community it serves – a story of tenacious women and men coming together to overcome barriers and empower a new generation of female leaders and runners.
In 2006, GGRF, Inc., was established as the first and only 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission of providing support for impoverished Ethiopian girls who are training to be professional runners. After reading an article in the Washington Post about girls using running to change their lives in Ethiopia, retired women’s studies Professor, Dr. Patricia Ortman founded the all-volunteer organization with the humble mission of providing shoes and athletic gear for these tenacious girls.
In 2012, Kayla Nolan joined the organization as Executive Director, building GGRF’s signature Athletic Scholarship Program model alongside community members in Ethiopia and expanding the organization’s impact. GGRF adapted its mission to invest in girls who are using running and education to empower themselves and their communities in Ethiopia. GGRF has continued to develop it’s program model to best fit the needs of the community including the integration of the Mother’s Savings Group and Alumni Project to ensure the program’s sustainability.
GGRF has seen 96% of its program participants it’s two progrma locations graduate into higher levels of education, avoid early marriage and complete the GGRF program in full.