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Does the word “data” excite you or terrify you? I love it. I’m one of those people who can get lost in a sea of data for hours on end, just trying to make the numbers and words come alive. It excites me when I can transform a messy spreadsheet into digestible and meaningful information. I suppose that’s why my projects this summer are a perfect fit for me!

Speaking of data, my first assignment of the summer is to aggregate and analyze post-season survey data from volunteer coaches, parents of program participants, and school site administrators. I’m working with data from four Girls on the Run seasons (Fall 2015 – Spring 2017) and with about 1,000 girls each season… well, as you would imagine, that’s a lot of information to dig through! So why do it? Well, GOTR Triangle has been analyzing data season-by-season. Longitudinal data will add an additional dimension to survey analysis and allow staff and board members to more deeply understand trends. Ultimately, understanding these trends will give insight to improve the GOTR programming offered each season. I’ll also have the opportunity to set up formulas within the spreadsheets to ensure that my work can be utilized for years to come, but I’m not quite there yet!

I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time starting to build relationships with our coaches and learning about the intricacies of managing a volunteer workforce. And, in just one short week, I’ve become quite an expert at navigating Raceplanner software! But those topics are for another blog post.

This week, I’ve chosen to highlight the Girls on the Run core value to “recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making.” One thing I’ve already noticed about working at GOTR is that each employee chooses to bring joy not only to the girls we serve, but also to the workplace, each day. For instance, one participant was unable to complete the end-of-season 5k race this spring even though she was incredibly close to the finish line. My officemate, Ronnie – GOTR Triangle’s Special Projects Manager (alias: Race Director) – came up with a creative and inspirational solution to help this young girl reach her goal of finishing a 5k. Instead of waiting for next season’s 5k, she mailed out a “finisher’s package” including a homemade finish line, sparkly crown, and finisher’s medal. Think about how Ronnie’s one small choice might impact this girl for a lifetime! I imagine that she’s learned that her goals are achievable, even when her path might look a little different than the others. I’m proud to be part of a community that truly embodies the notion of making intentional decisions to better ourselves and our communities.

The opinions expressed here are solely my opinions. Content published here is not read or approved by Girls on the Run® International and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Girls on the Run® International.

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