This fall The Girls School of Austin’s middle school students partnered with The Pangea Network to organize a virtual run, The Run4Change. The run raised awareness and funds for educational programs benefitting girls in the United States and Kenya. Every year each class at The Girls’ School partners with a local organization for a service-learning project. Usually, these partnerships involve field trips in which the girls do hands on work in the community, such as visiting a food bank or volunteering at shelter for displaced refugees. However, with the COVID pandemic, many of the planned partnerships were not viable this year, so under the guidance of the GSA’s service-learning coordinator and advisor, Jenny Sparks, the middle school looked for other creative ways to give back and grow. The 7th grade learned about The Pangea Network and the work they do to empower young women in the US and Kenya and decided that would be a perfect opportunityThey contacted the organization to discuss how they could help the cause and the idea for the virtual run was born. The 7th grade enlisted the help of the rest of the middle school and together they met with the founder of the Pangea Network, Nicole Minor who talked to them about issues girls face accessing education around the world, such as the average distance a girl had to walk to school. They used this some of information at the basis for creating different length runs that would appeal to a variety of ages and fitness levels. To make the race inclusive to as many people as possible they created team options and even a ‘sleep in for a cause’ level. GSA held a competition amongst the middle school to create a t-shirt design for the event. The winning artwork was created by 7th grade student, Adrianna Davies, who’s design was printed on shirts for all the race participants.  To encourage sign ups the student with the most friends & family participating received a goodie basket from Sugar Pillows Bakery (aka 8th grader Vivian Weiss). The race began on November 30, and participants had one week to complete the distance they had signed up for. The event concluded with an exclusive virtual concert on December 6th at 5:00 pm CST with Austin’s own, Bob Schneider.