"Girls with Sole" added its footprint to South Carolina Tuesday as part of its mission to help young girls "lace up for life success." The Charleston chapter will be the first Girls with Sole group in the state and will offer free fitness and wellness programs for at-risk girls and young women.
"If I didn't have fitness or wellness in my life, I honestly wouldn't be here right now. I would probably be a statistic," founder Liz Ferro said.
Ferro found the power of fitness after her own experience with childhood abuse. She transformed that know-how into Girls with Sole. The non-profit has served more than 800 girls since Girls with Sole’s founding.
Exercise is a key part of the 12-week program, benefiting girls age 9-18, but in its entirety, Girls with Sole is about inspiring and nurturing the mind, body and soul.
The guidance counselors at Orange Grove Charter School asked to pilot Girls with Sole at their school this fall. The decision to partner with the non-profit was a no-brainer for elementary school principal John Clendaniel, especially given the guidance team will be directly participating with students.
"It's not only empowering [students] through exercise,” Clendaniel said. “It's teaching them about setting goals…which transcends athletics."
He says the benefits extend beyond at-risk youth since the program teaches character development and good decision making.
For those interested in learning more about the program, a “Sole Essentials” information session and panel will be held 6pm Tuesday at Charleston Southern University’s Whitfield Center, Room 103.