Wubalem isn’t the only young woman in her household who learns from the Girls Gotta Run program.
She takes the skills that she learns during practice and life skills workshops at Abba Pascal Girls School, in Soddo, Ethiopia, and brings them home to share with her little sister.
She’s grateful, not just for the knowledge, but for the chance to wear a uniform, eat a healthy lunch, and go to school.
Running shoes and injera – those things are tangible. What’s not so easy to grasp is the transformation that Girls Gotta Run has inspired in Wubalem.
Before Girls Gotta Run, Wubalem didn’t realize that girls could play sports just like boys.
The program has helped show her the power of female athletes – and women in general – and recognize her own strength in the process.
That confidence is something that extends far beyond the track.
She has more energy. Her friendships have grown deeper.
And the athletic scholarship allows Wubalem to dream.
She loves English, biology and physics. Wubalem is a dedicated student and she devotes hours to her homework after school. She thinks she might like to be an engineer one day.
Importantly, her parents support her goals and dreams. Wubalem’s father, Ersase, wants to see all of his daughters avoid early marriage.
He wants her to learn.
“I want her to find good places to go in life.”