Name: Maya Fusako

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Age: 35

Favorite Hobbies: Coloring, hiking, ultra marathons, stage racing

Profession: Pilates Teacher and FT graduate student

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Peel the Banana!

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? March 2017

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I wanted to be part of an organization that is designed to empower young girls to be strong-minded, confident, and independent in a world that doesn’t always encourage those qualities in women. GOTR teaches these young girls very valuable life lessons that can be used in all facets of their lives into adulthood, as well as help them understand that they are valued as individuals and to embrace who they are.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The connection that you form with the girls over time. It makes my heart light up when they’re excited to do a fun activity with me or they want me by their side during their runs. Makes me feel like a “cool” adult because they want to play with me. Life can be stressful. It’s fun to let lose and be a kid with the girls sometimes!

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? I think they learn that GOTR is not only fun, but that it is hard work. It’s not easy training for a 5k race. More importantly, they learn that they are more cognitively advanced that they originally thought when they find themselves being able to answer challenging and complex questions that touch on emotions and relationships with others.

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? I had so much fun getting pictures of the girls, videos, and having them take pictures for us to be used on the website. It was a moment that everyone really relaxed, had a lot of fun laughing together as we goofed off and enjoyed being in the present. One girl suggested I do a faux hawk with my pixie cut. I have no style so decided to try her suggestion. I’m now sporting a faux hawk and love it! Thanks Tiba!

Why should other women get involved? It’s an opportunity to contribute to others and the community. It’s a very challenging, rewarding, and fun experience. You learn to lead, set an example, and inspire young girls who may not have a female figure to look up to. It’s truly a privilege to be a part of these young girls’ lives and guide them on their way to becoming strong, thoughtful, and confident young ladies.

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