Stories And Inspiration

Get To Know GO FAR: Meet Our Program Director, Jessica Applegate

Submitted by on Mar 8th 2021 - 2:00PM. | Perma Link

What do you get when you mix a ton of kindness, lots of compassion, and a visionary with a strong work ethic?   Meet our GO FAR Program Director, Jessica Applegate.  Jessica stays busy with her family, work and her extracurricular activities.  Read on to hear about our outstanding Program Director.
Robin Lindsay: What attracted you to GO FAR for the position of Program Director?
Jessica Applegate: GO FAR is a marriage of two of my passions: running and building kids' self esteem. Running has been a powerful force in my life, helping me work through difficult times and teaching me that I can do hard things. The running community is so encouraging and inclusive. So many things in my life changed after I ran my first marathon and thought that if I could do that, there wasn't much I couldn't do. So many children want to participate in sports, but perhaps they aren't competitive, can't quite make a team, or their parents cannot afford to put them into a team sport that requires tons of equipment and travel. Some kids never have the opportunity to set a major goal and accomplish it, or they have never had people to cheer them on and encourage them. Every child should have their accomplishments celebrated! Accomplishment of goals is such an important factor in building a child's self esteem and identity. In some of my volunteer work and studies I've seen the effects on children when they aren't given the opportunity to build positive identities and begin to search for acceptance anywhere they can find it. When I saw what GO FAR does, I knew I had to be a part of it!

RL: What is your favorite part of GO FAR?
JA: I'm definitely looking forward to our races coming back in their full glory, and I love getting to know people and share ideas, but right now my favorite is the Lace Up scholarship. As a mom, I know just how much it has to help these families to get a free pair of shoes for their children, and seeing the excitement the children have when they get the shoes is priceless.

RL:What do you do when you are not working for GO FAR?
JA: I have five children, and we have been homeschooling for almost 10 years now, so I spend most of my time with them and I love it! I also volunteer with World Relief Triad when there are opportunities to do so, and currently serve in a leadership position in our church's youth program for girls. 

RL: What do you like to do in your free time?  Your hobbies?
JA: I love to exercise and am a huge bookworm- I really enjoy learning. My kids and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking. I also love to work with my hands when possible; Over the last several months I designed and built our dining room table and my kids' beds and that was a lot of fun.

RL:How do you balance everything you have going on in your life?
JA: I don't know!! So much prayer, and extended experience with balancing things, I think. I've always been the person who likes to have a few plates spinning at once and I'm happiest when I have a big goal in the works, so that often means balancing a lot. Just before starting at GO FAR I went back to school to finish my degree, my youngest was 11 months old at the time. It taught me a lot about prioritizing and cutting out anything that isn't helping me to reach my goals.

RL: What characteristics help you in your position at GO FAR? 
JA:This past year has been different than any other for GO FAR and has required tenacity, flexibility, and creativity. 
RL: If you could run anywhere in the world what place would you choose and why?
JA: The Amalfi coast in Italy, or the Howth Head Cliff Loop in Dublin, Ireland. There are so many beautiful places in the world that I want to visit, but these two are among the more run friendly terrains and both are near large bodies of water with absolutely stunning views. 

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