Girls on the Run coordinator named Hometown Hero by Glamour Magazine

Girls on the Run of Greater Alaska program coordinator Rachel Wintz, 24, was named Alaska’s Hometown Hero in Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year feature. Wintz was recognized for her work with Girls on the Run, an empowerment program for girls in the third through eighth grades, and its expansion across the state of Alaska.

Girls on the Run is a violence prevention program of AWARE, Inc. It uses running to teach girls life lessons about things like identifying values, resisting peer pressure and giving back to the community.

“I’m so humbled to receive this honor. This wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many people over the years,” Wintz said.

Juneau offered the program in 2008. Within a year, the program spread through Southeast Alaska with the partnership of the domestic violence agencies in Sitka and Ketchikan, SAFV and WISH, respectively.

The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault gave funding to expand the program to include Homer’s Haven House, and two new sites across the state — Fairbanks and Cordova — last year. They plan to continue funding the program’s expansion across the state (with the exception of the Anchorage area, which is served by the Girls on the Run of Southcentral Alaska Council) in partnership with domestic violence and sexual assault agencies as a violence prevention strategy. So far, 1,157 girls have participated in 15 communities across Alaska.

“The (Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) has seen the positive effects of this program and is investing in the well-being of girls and women across the state,” Wintz said. “After participating in the program, you can tell that girls are stronger, more confident and know what makes them special and unique. When they finish their 5k event at the end of the season, they know that they can accomplish anything. It’s this attitude that will form the next generation of empowered women leaders.”

For more information on Girls on the Run visit

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