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Finding Empowerment

Great job to everyone who participated in yesterday’s Race to Empower 5K or 1-Mile Fun Walk at Buckingham Friends School (BFS) in Lahaska! It was a new location/partnership for the event this year and a huge success; everyone at A Woman’s Place (AWP) and BFS greatly appreciates your participation and hopes you had a great time!

My name is Amy and I am a volunteer for AWP on the Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB). In our meetings, we discussed the Race to Empower and its importance to those affected by domestic violence. To spread the word, we made flyers and posted them around Doylestown, Warrington, and Chalfont in local Starbucks and other various locations. Then, on event day, we all joined together to volunteer at the event.

The race makes a difference in Bucks County by raising awareness, and by raising money that allows AWP to provide free services to the entire community (which includes educating students, teachers, health care providers, business professionals, and faith & civic groups about domestic violence) and free support for victims and their children.

I wanted to help out at this race not only because I support the cause as a volunteer, but also because I support the message it sends as a 5K runner. The definition of empowerment is to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights; and as a runner, I want to share how this race and running in general are connected to empowering yourself and others.

First, you will find empowerment and confidence in the realization that you are never alone.

When I run a 5k, I never go by myself. There is always a friend who I can trust to run with me because their strengths enhance my own and we help each other accomplish more than we can do alone. Whenever you feel alone, know that there is someone out there, whether it’s a friend or a loved one, that wants to help you be at your best.

Second, you will find empowerment in the ability to choose what goals you want to aim for and find victory when surpassing those goals. I am not a particularly fast runner compared to others in my high school, but that doesn’t make me want to do it any less because racing is a matter of self-improvement rather than competition. When doing anything, if you aim far, you go far.

Third, you will find empowerment in all the formidable women in this community who want to help you become stronger and more independent. For example, the Central Bucks East girls cross country team has incredible spirit (there are over 50 girls on the team). These people are some of the best you will ever meet. After each race, no matter how tired we are, our first priority is always to turn around and cheer for our teammates. It not only boosts everyone’s confidence but lets people know they are supported. Keeping that in mind, remember that the Race to Empower is held by AWP, one of the most reliable local networks of trustworthy women who always strive to support you. #girlpower

Finally, you will find empowerment in claiming victory after fighting through the worst. For high school track, we practice in rough conditions. As Forrest Gump said, “We been through every kinda rain there is, little bitty stinging rain… and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew sideways. And sometimes rain that even seemed to come straight up from underneath.” Even in weather like this, we still never looked down because the one quality of a great runner isn’t speed, strategy, or strength. It’s perseverance; the ability to push ahead in a storm even when you feel like you can’t go on anymore. You can’t even see what’s ahead but you know that there is a finish line; and at that moment you pass this line, you know everything will be alright.

Amy, AWP YAAB Volunteer

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