Girls on the Run of the Big Bend Welcomes New Executive Director

“On her mission to give back, she never gave up.”

Twelve years ago, Jennifer Powell set off in her dream of being a photographer. She was faced with the fork in the road- a place that most people experience some time in their lives. She had a vision, and she felt her heart calling out to chase her dream of capturing, and creating, the most beautiful moments in life for others. On one hand, she thought “You’re behind others in the photography world. You don’t live in the right area, and you don’t have the right tools. You can’t possibly catch-up, dive-in and pull it off!” On the other hand, she thought “The odds are against me. This is true, but what happens when I do pull it off?”

This drive and determination has been the cornerstone of all of Jennifer’s success, and the rewards have been huge. Early on, she saw this and she vowed to a life spent GIVING BACK at all costs.

From the start of her rapid success in her photography career, Jennifer stayed close to her mission of pouring into others; she volunteered her services in schools for over a decade. From dance-planning, memory-making and moment-capturing, she has been a staple in her local community as the photographer who shows up and gives back.

The opportunity to give back expanded in 2012 when she took on a self-improvement challenge for herself. Getting fit and well took precedence in her life. Experiencing a complete life overhaul, she quickly sought opportunities to share her experience, and her newfound way of living, with others. Passing up no avenue to prioritize her “giving back” mission, Jennifer served as a wellness ambassador for the years to follow, and walked many moms, just like her, to personal freedom in local Mommy Makeover events.

A few years after, she fell into a casual commitment to run with young girls in 2015. Little did she know, that it would foreshadow her real purpose and unknowingly prepare her for the next bold step in her career.

In 2017, a bigger door opened. True to her nature, Jennifer leaped through without hesitation. Opening a local gym, that specialized in one-on-one attention and care, she partnered with her sister and set the city on fire with an unapologetic desire to assist in life-overhauls for others. Guiding hundreds to self-improvement and wellness, her “giving back” mission evolved even more and the momentum was unstoppable.

With name recognition in the wellness industry, Jennifer was approached by the pageant circuit. At first glance, it made no sense to her path, but when she realized the power of advocacy within the systems and considered it no coincidence. Mrs. Florida and US Continental competitions led to her crowning, and Jennifer moved fast to take advantage of the opportunity to give back in her year of reign. Wasting no time, she traveled the state raising money for Boys and Girls Clubs and even developed a program called R.O.A.R. where she taught both boys and girls the power of their voice!

As a result, 2018 proved to be a game-changing year for this photographer, wellness warrior, pageant queen, and child advocate. She connected even more with her own story, as an insecure, bullied little girl, and she knew that Girls on the Run of the Big Bend was the vehicle that would house the “giving back” mission she started so long ago.

Jennifer Powell has accepted the new title of Executive Director for Girls on the Run of the Big Bend. In a time where the GOTR program needed a bold voice and fearless leader, Jennifer showed up. This organization is bigger than a run or a fun community event. This organization holds the potential to ignite dream-building, confidence-creating, and skill-sculpting for so many deserving girls. It has the potential to help build stories beyond our wildest dreams and set the tone for a promising future. It is a program that writes stories for hundreds of young girls, and this year will be a ground-breaking one indeed.

Change is coming. While we launch the process of dream-building for many, we will rest in the story of our new leader. Her story is one of difficulty, drive, resilience, and overcoming. With our new director, the best is certainly yet to come! Please join us in welcoming Jennifer to the GOTRBB family.