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GOTR SoleMates Spotlight: Jennifer Fernandes

November 23, 2009

This is the fifth in our series of GOTR Atlanta SoleMates spotlights. GOTR Atlanta SoleMates are a group of men and women who are raising money for GOTR Atlanta while training for a race of their choice.

Jennifer Fernandes, left, after completing the 2009 NYC Marathon

Name:  Jennifer Fernandes 

Profession: Recruiter at The Home Depot 

Is this your first year as a GOTR SoleMate? No, second year 

What made you decide to join GOTR SoleMates? I was introduced to GOTR by a friend and running buddy who happened to volunteer as a Coach at Trinity School.  I trained with Sue and Sandy to coach at a site and then realized my schedule was not conducive to supporting the girls on a weekly basis. It was really important for me to give to this cause.  Self esteem is the most important thing to develop in a young girl.

The idea of the “Girl Box” was eye opening to me on so many levels….as I think we all still live in it from time to time. I wanted to be able to give the gift of self esteem, gained through running, to other young girls. It was something I learned later in life. It needs to be the first thing they learn. SoleMates was the perfect way for me to support the cause on my timeline… doing something I was already doing…running marathons. 

What is your target race? It was the 2009 NYC Marathon. 

What do you like to do when not being active for GOTR SoleMates? I am an avid runner even when not fundraising for Solemates.  I also enjoy weight training, aerobics, photography, volunteering at King Springs Elementary School, and spending time with husband and twin daughters. 

Where is your favorite place to run? Peachtree Battle in Atlanta 

What advice would you give to a new runner or athlete? Be realistic about your goals, prepare accordingly, and just know you can do anything you set your mind to…the human will is MUCH stronger than one might think. 

What is your favorite motto or saying? “Destiny is no matter of chance.  It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”  

What has been your best GOTR SoleMates experience? Volunteering as a Running Buddy for the 5K race in Fall 2008.  It was so inspiring to see 8-year-olds cross the finish line…the determination it took to get them there…to see the pride they had in themselves and the pride their families had for them. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining GOTR SoleMates? Self esteem is the most important trait to develop in the youth of today, especially for young girls.  Everything we are capable of stems from the ability to believe in yourself.  Being involved in an organization that gives this gift has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. 

What is your next race? The Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon 2009. My next marathon is the 2010 ING GA Marathon.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy Crutchfield permalink
    November 23, 2009 12:27 pm

    Jen – you are truly an inspiration. Not just for the girls through GOTR, but for every woman’s life you touch – especially mine. Thank you!

  2. Barbara DeAngelis permalink
    November 28, 2009 8:21 pm

    Jennifer,
    What an inspirational message, you make me proud. Keep it going for yourself and GOTR girls.

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