Friendspiration, Girls on the Run Edition: Meet Jessica!

When I think about the people who inspire me, I always come back to the women who are responsible for making Girls on the Run of Franklin County such an amazing group to volunteer with. Their tireless dedication to providing the Girls on the Run experience to as many Columbus-area girls as possible is absolutely amazing, and I’m pleased to share their stories with you.

What I love about Jessica, the Executive Director of GOTR of Franklin County, is that she is endlessly optimistic, encouraging, and tackles challenges with a calm and cool head. She listens to what others have to say and takes their thoughts and considerations into account. Working with Jessica is easy – she isn’t shy about making us feel that we’re valued members of the GOTR community, and when Jessica says it, you know it’s true! So without further, ado…

Meet Jessica!

Name your poison – what’s your activity of choice?


What has this activity added to your life?

Quiet solitude that allows me to be blissfully unaware of everything but me.

What made you get involved with Girls on the Run?

I became involved with Girls on the Run as the mission resonated deeply with something that was lacking in my own experience as a young girl. I never felt like I was completely sure of myself until I started running, and as I mature and run I learn even more about myself and those around me.

What is your favorite GOTR memory?

My favorite GOTR memory so far has been one that occurred while I was sizing a girl for shoes and after we got her a “just right” pair she came up and gave me a hug that was so innocent and appreciative. There was an instant bond of gratitude! I am grateful for girls like her to lead us into the future and she is grateful for me and the other women that volunteer with GOTR who are here to support her toward that future.

What has challenged you most in your lifetime and how did you tackle it?

Self doubt has probably been the toughest challenge for me in life. At times it has kept me from taking healthy risks and other times it has spurred me on to prove that it’s wrong. I manage self doubt through mindfulness exercises that help me focus on the present, not on the possibility of failure in the future.

What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?

Becoming Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Franklin County has been my biggest accomplishment thus far, as I strive to learn everything I can about leading a nonprofit while working full time as a school counselor – two roles that I couldn’t live without!

What goals are you currently working toward or would you like to accomplish in your lifetime?

I am working toward Girls on the Run of Franklin County being a consistently positive and accessible experience for all girls in Franklin County. In my free time I am planning to run a marathon in each of the 50 states before I turn 50. 10 down, 40 to go!

Who or what inspires you the most?

I am most inspired by leaders who are able to live by their conscience/inner light.

Favorite quote?

I have many, but here is a favorite recent one.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

{ Marianne Williamsen }

If you happen to be in the Columbus area and are looking for a fun and fabulous spring race,  join us at The Girls on the Run of Franklin County 5k on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Wolfe Park in Bexley! Help us celebrate our wonderful Girls on the Run, and support a valuable and life-changing experience for our girls!

Friendspiration introduces you to the people who inspire me the most. Each and every one of them has amazing stories to tell, and have pushed me, in no small way, to be the person that I am today. I hope you enjoy meeting them all as much as I enjoy having them in my life!


4 thoughts on “Friendspiration, Girls on the Run Edition: Meet Jessica!

  1. Thanks for this! I’ve heard lots about GOTR but never participated myself but I’m glad it’s around and doing great work. Personally, I volunteer with Back On My Feet — and get so much out of it. I’m sure those with GOTR get that same mentality. So glad this organization exists! — Ericka @ The Sweet Life (

    • I’ve heard so many good things about BOMF – I’m definitely glad it’s around, too! Wish there was a chapter in my city… maybe someday! 🙂

    • Have you thought about volunteering at the end of the season 5k? There are tons of ways to get involved outside of coaching and that might fit your schedule better! If not, they also have a SoleMate program! 🙂 I LOVE Girls on the Run!

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