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Three Young Activists Making Change in Their Communities

Bright pink decorative image with headshots of Mari Copeny, Samaira Mehta, and Marley Dias

Each season, participants in the Girls on the Run program (grades 3-5) fulfill a Community Impact Project with their team as part of the GOTR curriculum, with the ultimate goal of uplifiting their communities. It's up to GOTR participants to select a cause that is meaningful to the team, and work together to make their vision a reality. In past seasons, some of our Worcester County teams have held a supply drive for a local dog shelter, or written to veterans to brighten their day. Our girls rock!

International Day of the Girl is coming up on October 11th, and to draw even more attention to the valuable impact young girls are making in the world, Girls on the Run Worcester County is highlighting three inspiring young activists. Keep reading to learn more about these changemakers!


Mari Copeny

Philanthropist and activist Mari Copeny came into the spotlight at just 8 years old when she penned a letter to President Obama regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. That letter prompted the President to visit the city, and approve $100 million in relief funds. Now 16 years old, Mari has been a powerful voice in the conversation surrounding environmental racism.

Per Mari's website, she has "raised over $700,000 for her Flint Kids projects including giving out over 19,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies, a yearly Christmas event with thousands of toys, hundreds of Easter baskets, movie screenings, and lots of other events centered around the kids in her community."


Samaira Mehta

At just 15 years old, Samaira Mehta has already proved herself to be an innovative powerhouse! Vogue Magazine describes Samaira as "CEO, entrepreneur, and feminist STEM advocate", and it couldn't be more true. Samaira developed the board game 'CoderBunnyz' and several other games, which teach kids how to codeand how AI technology works.

Samaira has spoken at over 100 conferences and over 500 workshops highlighting her board games - which, by the way, have taught over 15,000 kids to code!


Marley Dias

In November 2015, Marley Dias founded #1000BlackGirlBooks, a drive with the goal of collecting 1,000 books featuring a Black female focal character by February 16th of the following year. Marley utilized social media to spread the word about her book drive, and it blew up! Over 13,000 books have been collected to date on behalf of this important project.

Per Marley's website, she has spoken alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah at the White House's United State of Women event, and at several others. In 2018, Marley was highlighted as one of the 25 most influential teens. Now at 18 years old, Marley attends Harvard and acts as the Ambassador of National Education Association (NEA)'s reading program "Read Across America".


Just like Mari, Samaira, and Marley, our GOTR girls are capable of incredible impact. At such a young age they define what it truly means to make positive change in their own communities, whether that's participating in their Community Impact Project as part of the GOTR program, or simply being a good friend to others.

You can join Girls on the Run Worcester County in supporting our GOTR girls in honor of this special day by donating here. Know that your gift gives girls in your own community the encouragement she needs to realize she can be a changemaker, too. Girls on the Run never turns a girl away from our program due to financial need, and it's your support that allows us to continue doing that.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for empowering girls! Happy International Day of the Girl!

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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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