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The founder of Girls on the Run International and a globally recognized role model for positive change, Molly Barker motivates audiences to embrace their individual strengths, ask the hard questions of themselves, and realize their potential to change the world, or as one participant in the Girls on the Run program shared, learn to be "the boss of my own brain."
An accomplished triathlete, Molly encourages others to run—toward hope, passion, and self-discovery to solve problems and overcome adversity. With a background in social work, counseling, and teaching, she founded the nationwide nonprofit, Girls on the Run, in Charlotte, N.C. Since 1996, Girls on the Run has grown from one school to 200 plus cities across every state in the country and helped more than 2.1 million girls unleash their potential. Over the course of the 10-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential social, emotional and physical skills to successfully navigate life experiences. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event. With the largest 5K series by number of events in the world, Girls on the Run hosts more than 330 5Ks per year, and has been recognized by the National Afterschool Association (NAA) as one of the most influential after-school programs.
Molly shares life-changing lessons from her personal journey of overcoming addiction, to start and grow the nation’s largest curriculum-based afterschool program. Authentic, candid, and relatable on stage, she leaves audiences with a deeper awareness of the world, themselves and how to creatively and effectively channel passions into innovative solutions.
Molly is the author of several books and has received numerous awards including the Point of Light Award presented by Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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