Girls on the Run Philadelphia is thrilled to announce that two local volunteers, Beth Davis and Julia Frense Maria, have been awarded with the Remarkable Volunteer Award by its headquarters, Girls on the Run International. The annual Remarkable Volunteer Awards is a national volunteer recognition program designed to shine a light on the inspirational impact volunteers have on the nonprofit organization Girls on the Run (GOTR). A total of 36 volunteers are recognized each year out of nominations from hundreds of councils nationwide.
“Volunteers are the heart of the Girls on the Run program. We simply could not deliver our life changing program without them!” says Colleen Kelly Howard, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Philadelphia. “Whether it is through coaching, volunteering at 5K events, fundraising and more, volunteers are essential to inspiring girls in Philadelphia to lead joyful, healthy, and confident lives. We are so proud to recognize Beth and Julia with this national award. They have embodied the spirit of Girls on the Run through her various contributions to our council, and we are honored to recognize each of them as a Remarkable Volunteer.”
Below are the stories about each woman's contributions to our council.
Beth Davis of Brewerytown is a longtime volunteer who happily contributes in whatever way she can. She has given her time as a coach, program evaluator, and as head coach for the July 2022 session of Camp GOTR, a weeklong program for girls to learn valuable life skills while completing joyful physical activity. She utilized her knowledge of GOTR and commitment to creating a safe, inclusive space to lead other volunteers and 18 girls through a week of activities. In addition to program-facing roles, Beth has supported GOTR’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) committee, sharing her insight through the Council’s inaugural BIPOC coach focus group. Beth is currently serving on the GOTR Philadelphia Associate Board of Directors.
Julia Frense Maria of South Philly is a natural networker and influencer, making her a perfect ambassador for GOTR in the community. She has joyfully initiated three fundraising campaigns to date and has donated her time as a volunteer coach and mentor to young girls in South Philly. In addition to her direct work with the program as a coach and fundraiser, Julia is growing awareness of Girls on the Run through featured works of writing. For the past two years, Julia has been on a journey of physical fitness, self empowerment, and weight loss. She went from living a sedentary lifestyle to becoming a triathlete and half-marathoner. Julia documents her journey via Instagram, and leverages her platform to be a champion for girls’ and womens’ empowerment, sharing her love of Girls on the Run every chance she gets. She had the opportunity to be interviewed for Bicyling.com and Triathlon magazine, in which she intentionally highlighted her volunteerism with GOTR as an integral part of her new lifestyle. Julia is currently serving on the GOTR Philadelphia Associate Board of Directors.