As part of our team’s effort to donate 20% of our time to charitable contributions of our choice, I, Lauren Buell, VP at Hero Creative, will be running my 4th Seattle Half Marathon next month, but this time in partnership with ZGiRLS. ZGiRLS has been my charity of choice since I started working at Hero Creative in 2014. ZGiRLS is an amazing organization that I immediately related to the second I heard their mission. All through middle school and high school I struggled with the pressure of comparing myself to other girls on and off the field. It wasn’t until after college that I became remotely comfortable with making mistakes. So what if I got taken out of the game? So what if I messed up the pass or didn’t run back in time and a goal accidentally got scored?
I learned the hard way at a work conference last year. I asked the Keynote a question with relatable potential customer concerns regarding product vulnerabilities and his response was simple: GET OVER IT. I started to flush out of embarrassment at his bluntness in front of the whole audience. And then I was filled with this sense of accomplishment, like I just discovered something I’d been searching for all of my life.
Well in short, ZGiRLS is seeking to instill this confidence with girls in sports at a younger age than 26, ages 11-16 to be exact. The proceeds of this campaign will fund 6 girls, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it, scholarships to the ZGiRLS Summer Adventure Camp this coming summer. Here they will be challenged to step outside of their comfort zone, build confidence, make friends, practice yoga, go river rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, windsurfing and swimming, all things I, along with many other women, would have killed to do at that age.
This isn’t just a camp without initiative; it is led by mentors who go through extensive training to become certified in facilitating conversation with this age group, discussing things like resilience, communication skills and positive self talk. You could have the best or worst parents in the world, I was privileged to have the former, but sometimes talking to a parent isn’t enough. Sometimes having an older, professional Olympic or NCAA athlete role model who will listen to you is what counts. Now more than ever, it’s obvious that girls need this support from the start.
Please consider making a donation today to promote strong minds, strong hearts, positive mentorship and emotional education. Whatever you can contribute will make a difference and provide the opportunity for 6 girls to discover their own confidence this summer at the ZGiRLS Summer Adventure Camp. To make courage contagious, give now. We can’t thank you enough!!!
With love, Lauren