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Girls on the Run is an after-school group at Batavia Middle School that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running.
Every session, Coach Sarah Gahagan incorporates a guest speaker from the community to inspire girls. Kristen Dispenza and Carrie Richards both directors for the Mary Kay Independant Beauty Business, had quite an inspirational message to share last week: "Change your mind, change your actions, change your world."
Dispenza spoke about the power of positive thinking -- really honing in on the fact that anything is possible. She gave real world examples from her own life and created examples that middle-school girls would experience as part of their life as well.
Another part of her presentation focused on "inner beauty" and how you do NOT need a lot of makeup to look and feel good. She talked briefly about skin care and each young lady was offered the opportunity to wash her face and apply a moisturizer afterward. There were lots of laughs and questions about the importance of good hygiene, (especially your face) especially after running!
Dispenza has quite an inspiring story on how she became a senior sales director with Mary Kay. She graduated from Batavia High School in 2005 and later started her career as a Special Education teacher but quickly felt a need to do more for women, specifically women in need.
She was raised in a single-parent home where confidence and money were not abundant. One of her biggest goals is to not only show women -- ALL women -- how special they are, but to teach them the skills necessary to build a successful business. After only two years with Mary Kay, through perseverance, determination, and heart, Dispenza earned the area's FIRST EVER pink Cadillac...pretty impressive!
Senior Sales Director Carrie Richards worked full time as a caseworker for the Department of Social Services and pursued her master's degree in Social Work part time. She spoke to the girls about how she got into the business and really owed a huge "pay it forward" to her "partner in crime," Dispenza, who inspired her to begin with Mary Kay, which changed her life.
Richards became a part of Mary Kay to surround herself with positive, empowering women and provide herself the opportunity to become a business owner. Her favorite part of her job is giving other women the opportunity to take charge and create a lifestyle that many only dream of. She is extremely thankful to have the opportunity to enrich and empower other women and thinks giving young girls the "Girls on the Run" experience is an AMAZING thing.
Girls on the Run (grades 5-8) meets at Batavia Middle School on Tuedays and Thursdays from 3:30-5 p.m.; this is their third session. The first ever third- and fourth-grade group also just started this spring at John Kennedy School.