Blog List


Recent Post

GOTR Blogger

GOTR Blogger

Lola Kolawole, GOTR alumna, heads to UVA this fall!

Lola Kolawole on setting and reaching her goals

Girls on the Run (GOTR) believes that every girl is inherently full of power and that, by learning they are the leaders of their lives, these girls will be able to change the world. The program provides girls with a safe space led by caring and supportive mentors where they are encouraged to activate their limitless potential and boldly pursue their dreams. Throughout 20 lessons, 3rd-8th grade girls learn about empowering themselves, their peers, and their communities.

Lola Kolawole, a GOTR alumna, is graduating from Whitefish Bay High School this spring and plans on attending University of Virginia this fall on a track scholarship. Her passion for running started at Girls on the Run nine years ago at Cumberland Elementary.

“I remember going to GOTR practice after school and making a lot of new friends. Because I was a younger kid on the team, I looked up to the older girls and it was fun to make a connection with them. Girls on the Run was the first athletic activity that opened my eyes to the sport and the team-environment really helped shape the experience.”

Lola and her team, as they navigated the GOTR curriculum, trained towards their collective goal of completing the end-of-season 5K. Training for the 5K as a team, celebrating each other’s personal accomplishments, and always cheering each other on made Girls on the Run a very positive environment for Lola. 

“I ran the 5K with my mom. This was in 2015 when the 5K was held at Bayshore Mall. I remember running to the top of the parking structure and just feeling so supported by the running buddies and coaches every step of the way.”

As with many young people in Milwaukee, Lola conveyed that her coaches have really transformed her development as an athlete and young woman. Girls on the Run recruits caring coaches who desire to support and encourage the next generation. In Southeastern Wisconsin, over 500 coaches help 2,300 girls annually develop characteristics including confidence, care and connection. As Lola continued her running career after GOTR, coaches at Whitefish Bay High School and the Milwaukee Mustangs have supported her growth on and off the track.

“My coaches have been my biggest supporters and motivators. They push me to be the best that I can. They were the first people to tell me to trust myself, which really built my confidence. That’s something I appreciate so much. Every day at practice, they, along with my teammates, push me to be my best. They all make showing up and locking in so much easier.”

This confidence development, empowered by her coaches, has built Lola into a motivating and empathetic leader. Taking after runners like Allison Felix and Florence Griffith Joyner, Lola believes that respect, hard work and leading by doing is the key to investing in her team’s mutual success.

“Before races, it’s nice to gather the team and warm up together. Being able to mentor my younger teammates and give them pep talks when that pre-race anxiety sets in has been rewarding and built our connection. I tell them what I tell myself: that everything we’ve done to get to be in the position we’re in today has gotten us here. We deserve to be here. No dream is too big, and we can achieve anything we put our mind to.”

As Lola leaves for college in Virginia this fall, she still carries lessons with her that she learned at Girls on the Run nine years ago and continued to implement and develop over her running career. These include boldly pursuing her dreams, the importance of building a positive support system, and working hard every day to reach bigger and better goals. 

“I hope current Girls on the Run participants know that they can achieve anything they put their mind to and confidence in yourself and your dreams make a huge difference.”

Share this Post!

About Council

We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

Girls on the Run International Post