Jan 1, 2011

Posted in Blog

Dawn Eastes: From FBI to GOTR

GOTR 5K May 1, 2010 - The Race that Never Ran the Day the Flood Began

January 2011

Like many of our awesome coaches at Girls on the Run Nashville, Dog Lovin’ Dawn Eastes loves to run and wants to make a difference in the lives of young girls. Unlike many of the other coaches, Dawn has 20 years of federal service under her belt. Dawn is a retired probation officer and former FBI agent. In her time working for the government, she did everything from investigating robberies, theft, and organized crime to helping offenders find jobs and benefit from substance abuse treatment. Now she hangs out with a slightly different crowd…

Dawn retired last year and decided to find a new way to help out in the community. She stumbled on an article about Girls on the Run Nashville one day while reading the Tennessean. Given her love of running and helping kids, Dawn knew that she and Girls on the Run would be a great fit!

“My goal is to reveal to these girls as many avenues and options as there are out there in this big old world – starting with confidence building, self-esteem, and thoughtful choices. I want these girls…to have tools for success and enough confidence to use them so that none of them ever end up in the criminal justice system, a domestic violence shelter, or a substance abuse program…”

Dawn is fast approaching her first anniversary with Girls on the Run! She began coaching at Title 1 charter school Smithson Craighead Academy last January. She co-coaches with Council Director Jennifer Kimball, who, by the way, loves working with Dawn!

Jennifer says – Dawn lives in Brentwood, and attended coaches training thinking that’s where she’d be coaching, but when told she was more needed at SCA, she committed without hesitation to that long drive and slow crawl home in rush hour traffic twice a week! The girls and I absolutely adore her. She has taught them “party manners”, and to spell Kalamazoo. She lifts them up with her lovingly high expectations.

Dawn and some of the girls from her team

One of my favorite sights is Dawn as the Pied Piper of GOTR, leading our girls in disarrayed single file, singing “ I don’t know but I’ve been told ( girls echo) Girls on the Run are made of gold (echo), I don’t know but I hear say (echo) they’re all gonna be president someday (echo)”!

We often say that we women benefit as much as the girls. In characteristic Dawn fashion, she says she feels honored to work with them.

“The reward: it’s the feeling inside the heart and the hope that something we did; something we discussed; a team concept that we learned; a confidence level developed from completing a 5K run that didn’t seem possible… will come into play in these little girls’ lives sometime in the future and keep them definitively striding down the road to success…even when the road gets really, really hard. These are things many special people took the time to teach me during my life…and I want to pass these invaluable lessons along. The bonus reward: Million dollar smiles. There’s nothing quite like it.”

~Jillian

Jillian Neal was our PR/Marketing intern this past fall. After completing her practicum for her Master of Mass Communication, she continues to assist us with our PR and marketing needs!