Once a GOTR girl, always a GOTR girl.
As a former Girls on the Run Baton Rouge participant, Mia-Miracle Craig returned to join the program’s mission as a third-year student at Rhodes College.
Mia-Miracle first joined Girls on the Run after moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from her hometown of New Orleans in the second grade.
As she navigated a new city, school, and routine, Mia-Miracle’s mother, Lesha Holmes-Duncan, prompted her to join Girls on the Run after hearing about the program through a fellow parent.
Since joining the program in the third grade, Mia-Miracle continued to participate as a GOTR girl through the fourth and fifth grade.
“I love the people there, and I don’t think I would be where I am without them,” she said.
During her childhood years at Girls on the Run, Mia-Miracle fondly recalled distinct memories of trying a vast variety of snacks the program would provide. From fresh kiwi to flat pretzels, Mia-Miracle raved about the unique options of after-school snacks that she would look forward to each practice.
Not only did the organization expand Mia-Miracle’s palette, but it broadened her horizons as well. Through its lessons, she was able to better express herself, learn how to put her feelings into words, and stand up for herself.
“I think my favorite thing about Girls on the Run is that it’s an organization for girls that doesn’t tell girls how to be girls,” she said. “They teach you to express yourself, be yourself, and be proud of that…however that may look.”
Over a decade later, Mia-Miracle moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to attend Rhodes College with a major in educational studies with a focus in community and social change and an additional major in anthropology and sociology.
She is also proud to be a Bonner Scholar, in which students are awarded for their passion for community service. Through the scholarship program, she must spend 140 hours during the school year and 280 hours during her first two summers with a nonprofit of her choice.
While attending a community fair organized by the college, Mia-Miracle was introduced to Girls on the Run Memphis and its executive director, Joanna Lipman.
After months of correspondence, the two decided that Mia-Miracle would resume her time with Girls on the Run Memphis as its new program assistant.
“I’ve never been an assistant before,” she said. “It’s a lot less of direct service, which is what I’m used to. I really wanted to see if the administrative side was for me.”
In addition to her new role, Mia-Miracle acts as a committee member of the traditions committee of the Rhodes Activities Board, a member of the Phi chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and a Bonner Mentor to assist fellow freshmen scholars.
Mia-Miracle said a leader should not only take on tasks that one would normally ask of others but ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.
“You want to make sure you’re being respectful, and you’re doing your best to represent everybody,” she said. “If someone’s more knowledgeable, take a step back, listen, and take note to apply it to what is needed for the community.”
As an out-of-state student, Mia-Miracle said she is able to appreciate Memphis’s eccentric community through a different lens. Through her experience as a Bonner Scholar, she has been able to understand city’s need for service.
Inspired by her innate passion for community building and service, Mia-Miracle looks forward to giving back through both Girls on the Run and her future endeavors.
“Service is definitely something I don’t ever want to be without in my life,” she said.