Delaware native Laura Morgan didn’t discover her passion for running until late in college. Now she wants to share it with the world. As a county coordinator for Girls on the Run in the Rockies, a division of the international nonprofit, Morgan oversees the program in the Pikes Peak region, helping young girls learn the values of healthy living and self-empowerment through physical exercise. The 30-year-old wife and mother, who lives in her family’s new Green Mountain Falls home, took a short break to talk about her life and career.
Tell us about your role with Girls on the Run.
As county coordinator, I’m responsible for overseeing the program in the Pikes Peak region, which includes growth, new sponsorship opportunities, overseeing managers, organizing new program sites and whatever else we need in the area.
How did you come to the organization?
I first found out about the program when I was in South Carolina and was really excited to coach, so when the opportunity came to coach in Colorado Springs it was very exciting, but we didn’t have the program here yet. So I worked with the Denver council to bring a council down here.
Can you talk about your other ventures?
I’m also a part-time physical therapist and I work for a rehabilitation clinic in Woodland Park called SERC. The staff at SERC is absolutely amazing and I love working there. I also run my own business, which is called Life Wheels On, that provides people with access to wheelchairs. That is minimal compared to Girls on the Run and SERC, but I saw a need and wanted to make that happen. It has been really rewarding.
Why did you pick here for your home?
My husband and I were living in South Carolina and we both wanted to be in the mountains. My husband had family in Woodland Park at the time, so it was an easier move to stay with family for a bit. So I took a job with Memorial Hospital when we first moved and as Girls on the Run grew, I gradually cut back on my physical therapy time.
What are day-to-day operations like for Girls on the Run?
It is constantly changing. As we grow, my role and what I do constantly changes as well. Every day there are lots of phone calls and emails, lots of following up on things, lots of paperwork and lots of day-to-day program management. Also planning the Fall 5K is a major undertaking. We had around 100 participants our first year, 2011, and this year we had around 700.
How do the values of Girls on the Run align with your own?
The mission is to inspire girls to create a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living, and we use running to help teach those lessons. It really aligns with me personally a lot, because when I first started running I didn’t feel great about myself — I definitely didn’t when I was the age many of these girls are now, and running and exercise has made such a difference in my life and the way I feel about myself. I value that a lot, so I want to help them learn that.
Do you plan to stay in the area, and what are some goals for the organization?
We just moved into our new house a year ago, and I hope to never leave or move again. … Two of my biggest focuses with Girls on the Run are getting new programs started — if any readers have girls that age [8 to 13] or know people with girls that age, we would love to get the program started at their schools — and then, like any nonprofit, looking for new sources of funding and whatever other opportunities are out there.