Molly Barker, MSW, founded Girls on the Run in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, she used her background in social work, counseling and teaching, along with research on adolescent issues, to develop the program. Today, there are Girls on the Run councils in over 190 cities across North America serving over 150,000 girls and women each year.
Girls on the Run, a grassroots movement, engages thousands of people, throughout North America, in its effort to help girls break free of the “Girl Box.” The “Girl Box,” a phrase coined by Molly, describes the imaginary place many girls go around adolescence, where cultural and societal stereotypes limit choices as well as opportunities. Starting with this strong foundation, Molly’s idea is to create a social movement, which provides girls and women with the tools and the courage to see, unravel from and eliminate their own and often unconscious buy-in to the Girl Box and its limiting messages. Only then, will a world where all girls and women are able to recognize and achieve their greatest human potential, have the capacity to emerge.
Girls on the Run has been featured in many media outlets including People, Runner’s World, Glamour, Self, Shape, Redbook and Woman’s Day. Molly has authored two books, “Girls on Track, A Parent’s Guide to Inspiring our Daughters to Achieve a Lifetime of Self-Esteem and Respect”, and “Girls Lit from Within” which is specifically for 3rd – 8th grade girls.
Molly is a positive role model for girls and women of all ages. She enjoys writing, running and yoga but most enjoys the challenges which emerge in her own personal evolution and deep desire to live life outside the Girl Box.
Caitlin Boyle is the founder of OperationBeautiful.com, author of the Operation Beautiful book, and the blogging behind HealthyTippingPoint.com. She is 27 years old and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two dogs. Caitlin is currently pregnant with her first child.
Caitlin discovered purpose through battling negative self-talk. Tired of hearing her own inner voice telling her she wasn’t good enough, blogger Caitlin scribbled “You are beautiful!” on a post-it, stuck it on the mirror of a public bathroom, took a picture and posted the photo on her blog. A movement, “Operation Beautiful,” was born. The mission – to post anonymous messages in public places to encourage others. Thousands of notes have been posted all over the world, in many different languages by people of all ages. The “Operation Beautiful” book launched in August 2010; Caitlin has been featured on the Today Show, on the OWN Network, and in magazines such as Glamour, Fitness, and Self. She was also chosen by Yahoo as one of the “Top 10 Inspiring Stories of 2010.”
Caitlin also runs Healthy Tipping Point, a food and fitness blog that encourages others to redefine true health and happiness. Caitlin is a weekend warrior, regularly competing in triathlons and road races.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with a double degrees and with honors. Caitlin and her husband volunteer with Girls on the Run, and Caitlin was named Charlotte’s Rookie Coach of the Year of 2011.