Dreamers in Watts Run a 5k with Girls On the Run

There’s a saying in running: “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.” Running can be a trying task. Many adults even dread the event before the word is spoken.

However, for our girls, running has been a joy–a difficult challenge, but a joy nonetheless. Running has been a measurable obstacle that our “Girls on the Run” have found the power to overcome. Girls on the Run is a 12 week program where the participants run and learn lessons of grit and empowerment. Around week 2 of the season, the girls were being pushed to their limits, but they pushed back… and they pushed through.

The 12-week program ended in a 5k celebration at Griffith park. The girls were surrounded by other runner girls from all over the Los Angeles area, and nerves were calmed (a little) when they saw that everyone was nervous for the big race.


The girls ran their hearts out. A 5k is no small feat–especially as a fourth grader. Director of Programs Wilma Morales-Franco ran with the girls, pushing them to keep going when they wanted to walk. When they finally took a quick walking break, they weren’t out long, and the girls informed Wilma that, yes, they wanted to start running again.

These girls completed their measurable and admirable goal of running a 5k. However, perhaps even more admirable is the transformation the girls underwent to finally get to this point. Group leader Lupe Camberos knows that the girls finishing this season are not the same girls who started the season on day one.

“My favorite part of GOTR is seeing the transformation that these girls make by the end of the season! By mid season, I can already start seeing a change in them! The shy girls break out of their shell and become social butterflies,” said Camberos. “They start to contribute more to the group and all become shining stars.”




The girls are already looking forward to the next season for GOTR!


This day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our wonderful staff and volunteers! // [Left to right: Intern Ms. Lisa; Director of Programs, Wilma; Program Coordinator, Mr. Campos; Group Leader, Jeffrey; 3rd Grade Teacher, Mrs. Jones; Volunteer Ms. Magda; Group leader, Lupe] // Also, special thanks to Program Coordinator, Mrs. Alvarado!