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Carrie Wilson


Girls on the Run of Calhoun County

10 Castlereigh Ct.
Battle Creek, Michigan 49014
Carrie Wilson, Council Director for Girls on the Run of Calhoun County, believes one person with one voice can influence the lives of young girls. Wilson says planting the seeds of confidence in vulnerable children does not always yield instant gratification but requires time and dedication to pay off.
Michigan Nightlight: What does being a leader mean to you?
Girls on the Run Council Director Carrie Wilson: Being a leader means to have an incredible amount of passion for your mission. When the going gets tough, the passion will see you through time after time. Also, it is critical for a leader to empower those involved in our organization. A leader is only as good as the people that work with them toward the common vision. It means genuinely caring about people and what they have to say.
Regardless of financial means, all children have the ability to dream and no one should ever get in the way of what they see as a possibility for themselves.

What is your dream for kids?
I would love for all kids to have equal opportunity to all aspects of life. Regardless of financial means, all children have the ability to dream and no one should ever get in the way of what they see as a possibility for themselves. Kids are absolutely incredible, if only adults would see the potential in each and every child. I would love for kids to feel empowered every morning of each new day.
What is one concrete thing that could be done to improve the environment for social sector work in Michigan?
I believe in empowering individuals to be their best selves. When people have confidence they will put forth an incredible amount of effort and passion into something they believe in. The Girls on the Run curriculum teaches the girls to be confident in who they are and what they stand for. There are lessons about values, morals, the power to choose your friends, standing up to peer pressure, emotions, bullying, healthy eating, setting goals, and positive self talk. All of the lessons are creatively integrated with exercise. We all know girls like to talk, and Girls on the Run offers a safe place, free from judgment to express thoughts or feelings.
How do you know you’re making progress?
If our program reaches one child in a positive way and encourages her to dream beyond what she ever thought possible, we have made progress. This season we had a girl that told her Girls on the Run team and coaches that she was being bullied in school. The coaches led a discussion on bullying and asked how the girls might be able to help their teammate. The team of girls decided they were going to stand up for this little girl and not allow the bullying to take place any longer. Not only was the little girl emotional about her friends standing up for her, but the parent was impressed her daughter had shared the information with the team and they supported her.
What are you most proud of?
I am continually blown away by the local support of our program. Not only from our sponsors and donors, but the hundreds of dedicated volunteers that encourage and empower our local girls to be themselves. Most of our volunteers are the coaches that work with the girls two days a week after school for 12 weeks. A great majority of these coaches are teachers that work
Offering vulnerable children a glimmer of hope takes an incredible amount of passion, and the message has to get out that it has paid off.
with the children all day during school and then coach Girls on the Run after school. Their dedication to the program and the girls amazes me.
What creates the most significant barriers to engaging Michigan citizens in helping vulnerable children?
I think most people think that the task of helping vulnerable children is too big. So big in fact that one person can’t possibly make a difference. There is no instant gratification; as a matter of fact, many times there is no gratification. With children it’s all about planting the seed. There are so many factors that can influence the change you’ve tried to instill, but the seed is still there. It may take many years for all your time and dedication to pay off, but it will. Only, you’ll never know. Offering vulnerable children a glimmer of hope takes an incredible amount of passion, and the message has to get out that it has paid off. One person, one voice can and will make a difference.
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Program Profile


  • Girls on the Run of Calhoun County
    We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. 


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