Running Start

Rating: 5 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Women

Location: 5014 Glenbrook Road NW Washington DC 20016 USA

Mission: Running Start is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring young women and girls to run for political office.
Geographic areas served: National

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Running Start Young Women's Political Retreat has been by far the best experience of my life. I was taken into another world. The speakers we had were amazing. I couldn't believe I met people who were from Ivy Leagues or CEO's. And, best of all they were women. Walking around DC was amazing. I was so thrilled to be there and grasp all the education they fed us in the five days. I would for more girls to be able to be part of Running Start. Susannah Shakow, the founder and president makes this program rich. Her presence is delightful. Plus, all the other staff made me and the rest of the girls feel so comfortable. I loved it. I came back home with a heart full of enery and need to live to bigger and better things. Because after Running Start I -know- I will be great and I have many opportunities.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

leadership and social skills.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the extreme boost of confidence that I received through lectures. And, meeting amazing girls accross the country with similar qualities and interests as me.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing. They were very helpful and fun. They made sure we were all together as a group.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

establish a Running Start YWPL Retreat evey city they could. They would NOT deny girls based on financial issues. This program doesn't take your money in order to participate.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Running Start is a program I would recommend to any young woman with a budding interest in politics. In mid 2008, a friend of friend alerted me about about a leadership program called Running Start, specifically targeted at young women in high school. Immediately, I jumped at the chance. I remember stressing over my application for several days, and then the nervousness that followed (I was worried because I had submitted my entry so close to the deadline). Even though, at the time, I knew very little about the program, I was desperate to be accepted. But I was shocked when I received a phone call later that week requesting a phone interview. It was brief, and after hanging up I remember over-analyzing my answers, and convincing myself that I had no chance of being accepted. Sure, the website said they would select all kinds of girls from all over; but why would they want me? I lived really far away from D.C., and I wasn't even enrolled in a real high-school (I was home-schooled). But they did accept me, and that was only the beginning. Although the program was short, it definitely changed my life, and helped transform me into the person I am becoming. I had the opportunity to meet girls from all backgrounds, all of us joined by a common interest in our community. All sorts of women came to speak to us, sharing their experiences and preparing us for the future. We attended workshops for public speaking, advocacy, speech writing, and campaigning. Not only did we learn about the women leading us today, but were also reminded of past female heroes - the women who changed history, gaining us rights that we often take for granted. On the third night, we all attended a networking reception, which I consider one of the best parts of the program, because were able to engage in conversation with many influential and admirable people in the D.C. area. But the most memorable event was the night on the town, something I hadn't expected to experience. So far we had spent the entire time on campus, and it was amazing to be able to go out and really see the city. On the last day, we made speeches to our friends and family, talking about the rising issues we felt most passionate about. Running Start changed my life, and I know it's done the same for so many other young women. Thank-you Running Start for giving girls like me the confidence to change the world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Reach out to girls who knew little or nothing about politics. Staff could make presentations at high schools around the nation, educating girls about the importance of political activism.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The speakers; I learn best by observing others, and they shared invaluable information, not only useful for the world of politics, but things that will guide me no matter what career I pursue.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Generous and compassionate. Everyone at Running Start treated us as equals. Nobody talked AT us, instead they all talked TO us, and actually welcomed feedback, debate, and questions.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help every girl instead of just a select few. Running Start could change the world if they had more funding. Sadly, most of my peers are unaware of all the issues of our community/society. This organization can change everything.

Ways to make it better...

It was longer. Although it was packed with activities and lectures, it would be even more beneficial if it was spread out over a longer period of time. But I completely understand this is due to lack of funds.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funds. Running Start is one of today's most important non-profits, and it needs all the donations/endorsements it can get.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Coming from an enclosed background, Running Start gave me the exposure to leadership, politics, and networking that I needed. Every asset of my life has been nurtured through the love and faith of the Running Start staff. Giving me reason to want more change in the world, I've grown not an interest, but a passion for politics, something that I've never had before. They've allowed me to see the potential in myself that one day I may be this nation's next Speaker of the House, member of Congress, or even the First Woman President of these United States.I feel that Running Start is an organization that all girls should have the chance to experience, cultivating each seed so that it may bloom and leave a tremendous mark in this world. Running Start has given their all in each and every girl so that we know that there is nothing in the world that we can't do. "To whom much is given, much is required"

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the WORLD as we know it... without a doubt! If we invest in women, we empower the world. Running Start has made it their primary focus to get more women... young women, into politics.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

My experience with Running Start is one that I will never forget. The knowledge that I obtained will always follow me in my life. Being with 50 bright intelligent girls who have accomplished so much was a great inspiration. The five days I spent at Running Start added more fuel to the fire that I have for politics and being involved in my community. I strongly recommend this program to every girl with or without the same passion that I have. Their eyes will be opened and they will meet so many strong woman leaders. Every person left with an inspiration and ready to lead. After attending several leadership conferences this is far the best. Lastly, I would like to thank Running Start for the work they do.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do a group activity so we could really put into play of what we are learning.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Hard working and most of all friendly. They are all smiles all the time.

Ways to make it better...

it was longer. There was so much that we did every single day, and there is so much more that could be experienced.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

When I landed in DC, I honestly didn't expect much out of the Running Start conference because I had never heard of the nonprofit and also because I didn't have to pay anything to go there. I've been to many leadership conferences in the past, some of them were very expensive, and my experience at Running Start was by far the best. I was able to shake hands with my Congresswoman, give my business card (provided by Running Start) to some of the top women leaders in DC, and listen and learn from the stories of 51 inspirational girls. Those five days ignited a passion for politics in me, and put me on the path towards the Capitol Building. When I become a political leader I will make sure more girls like me are able to attend Running Start so I can continue the cycle of strong young girls becoming powerful politicians.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

inspire girls all over the world to become politicians.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

This is an exceptional program recommended especially for those girls who have absolutely no idea about politics or anything relating. Being a prime model of the uniformed teenager, I applied for this program without forethought and was accepted. After taking a plane that was provided for and meeting other girls of every platform, the experience began almost immediately. This is a comprehensive program structured for girls ready to take the challenge. The staff are undeniably dedicated and go out of their way to provide every possible amenity. The lectures given by special guests are uplifting and broaden the student's expectations from their government as well as themselves. The president of the program, Susannah, is truly inspirational. Not only did she found the organization from the ground up but she attends it personally alongside the girls whom she generously chooses. After the program has reached its end, the benefit of Susannah's effort to guide the student does not end. Consistent emails and competitions suited to challenge and encourage the students involved in the program are sent for years after the duration of the experience itself. But most importantly, if a student needs anything, any resource, feedback, or counsel-Susannah is always available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This was truly a milestone in my life. Thank You Running Start for giving 150 percent.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Utilizing the skills I acquired from the experience in another humanitarian competition where my presentation skills outshone many of the other contestants. It was also alleged that two girls sitting in the back were so moved by my speech, they cried.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Include a working project that would bring a single collaborative effort into effect. A speech is lovely but implementing a goal large or small embeds a wider responsibility on the student to be both eloquent in speech and steadfast in action.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The night out, is so much fun and gorgeous. I live in New York City so I don't see a lot of stars or even a clear horizon but that night is unforgettable, good idea with that Running Start.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Hard working, competent, certified, but most of all friendly. They are all smiles all the time.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Put every girl who so desired in office. Of course, that would only occur after extensive training to make the candidate the best she could be.

Ways to make it better...

We could have stayed longer, but you know, there is only so much a budget covers on a free ride, especially with all the good food and activities that are given.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Are choosing the girls. Apparently, at the time of my application admittance 200 hundred girls submitted. Out of the two hundred applications only fifty girls were meticulously chosen, that is hard especially when you want to grant every girl this gift.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Running Start deserves this award. The program they offer is one of a kind, they have such a clear objective and they mold every girl according to her skill and area of choice. You could take my word on it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As a young woman who has always been interested in politics, Running Start was a major eye-opener. It gave the young ladies with me and myself a chance to see first hand the kind of effects women have had in politics, to give us encouragement for the future. I know because of the ideas and lessons many of us took from Running Start, we will use it to our benefit in the future. Running Start and DC is a start for young women all over interested in politics, no matter who they are.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the increased of interest and motivation I have in entering the world of politics. I now have full confidence I can use my sex as a benefit, instead of seeing it as a hinderance.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I participated in the Running Start young womens political program 2009. I had an amazing time. Running Start has inspired me!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their constant devotion to the enrichment of young women's lives.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Running Start is an amazing organization that provides amazing opportunities for young women! I was a participant in their political leadership program in DC, and the experience has truly changed my way of thinking. The organization provided us with amazing speakers and experiences that included subjects not only of political interest, but also relating to humanitarian work, career-building, and networking. As a young woman, I am proud to say that I support Running Start.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Awesome! There were so many kinds of people working on the staff, but each had the goal of empowering young women for the future. It was great to be surrounded by such an ambitious, caring, and persevering group of mentors!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of SO many girls! The feelings generated during this political retreat are irreplaceable. I am still inspired by the 50 girls that I met, and what each of them will be able to do with their life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Running Start has helped me grow as an individual. I learned more from the 5 days I spent in the retreat than I have my entire life, both about myself and about the people around. I was able to watch as I, along with my fellow participants, become more confident with ourselves. Though we are leaders one way or another, Running Start gave us the extra push we all needed to aim for what we want, regardless of stereotypes and those who make it their business to bring us down. Running Start gave me the opportunity to meet and interact with people whose job involves positive changes using one small act at a time. Running Start makes it possible for us to change the world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my everyday life and not just in the 5 days of the retreat. Everything i learned from this organization, I can take it with me and apply it to anything I decide to do. I don't have to be a politician or be in politics to lead the change.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting people from various backgrounds who were willing to listen. Be it congresswomen, other nonprofit employees and even the participants who are my age allowed me to learn something for them and vice versa.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

people who have given me the confidence as a woman to stand up for what I believe in and use that as a tool for change.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

easily affect change outside the borders of the United States because of the brilliant women behind it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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