CaCera Richmond is going the distance. As a current board member of Girls on the Run, CaCera reflected on the positive experiences the organization has brought her.
CaCera first learned about Girls on the Run while living in Los Angeles, California. A close friend and volunteer, Shawnie Dockery, introduced CaCera to the program after recognizing her passion for health and mentorship of young girls.
CaCera volunteered in the Los Angeles site’s 5K celebration as a “running buddy” the following May.
“I completely fell in love with the organization, its purpose, and its energy,” she said.
From that point forward, CaCera knew she wanted to continue to volunteer with the organization because of how well its mission aligned with her own values. Its incorporation of health and fitness also catered to her interests as a part-time fitness instructor.
After moving to Memphis four years ago, CaCera said one of the first items on her agenda was to reach out to Joanna Lipman, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Memphis, to become involved.
CaCera has acted as a board member and volunteer running buddy for the Memphis subsidiary since. As a member, CaCera shares responsibilities of strategizing and fundraising to ensure the longevity of the program. Additionally, she focuses on how to reach diverse organizations and audiences to create a well-rounded program.
CaCera also served as a host for the Girls on the Run Fall 2021 5K celebration, where she aided in organizing the events of the day and kept girls motivated for their run.
Outside of her time with the program, CaCera spends her day job as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisor at FedEx Freight, where she focuses on prioritizing representation within the company.
“Representation is just so huge,” she said. “I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the phrase that we all know, ‘You believe what you can see.’”
The values that CaCera practices in the workplace went hand-in-hand with the values of Girls on the Run. Because Memphis is a vastly diverse city, standing for equal representation is essential for any organization, she remarked.
“Our girls span all backgrounds,” she said. “Having a diverse council, coaches and board really helps our girls be able to be a team.”
CaCera said she takes pride in representing women of color and helping girls lead their best, fit lives.
“Starting a foundation with these girls at their age is going to equip them to be stronger, healthier women as they grow.”
CaCera said she has not only found solace in how the program helps others, but how it has furthered her own growth.
While she enjoys strength training in her spare time, taking up running was a new challenge for her. Seeing GOTR girls’ achievements through the program inspire her to continue on her personal journey with running, she said.
CaCera celebrated a recent feat with running after participating in the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Feb. 27, which took place in its park in Orlando, Florida. Thousands of runners of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, participated in the race, she said.
“It fuels you to be in a different type of community, and I love that,” she said.
As an avid Disney princess fan, the experience of running through the park gave her a rush of excitement and a sense of pride for her newfound hobby.
After six years with the organization, CaCera credits Girls on the Run for shaping her both professionally and personally. As she continues to serve as a board member and running buddy, CeCera is eager for what the program has in store.