It’s difficult to be a young woman in modern society. Today’s generation is inundated with mixed messages from the media, along with a lack of community engagement, peer conflict, family problems and other issues that can leave girls feeling alienated and inadequate.
Bring It Push It Own It, a local female-run nonprofit organization for girls from ages 9-18, seeks to overcome these negative influences by empowering young women through physical activity, mentorship and teamwork.
Bring It Push It Own It began in 2013 when founder Tisha Stotlar noticed a lack of self-esteem, positive values, inner strength, coping skills and leadership traits being instilled in young women within their home, school and extracurricular lives. Stotlar started the organization with the important goal of helping girls learn to “push themselves outside of their comfort zones to grow to their fullest potential.”
Today, Bring It Push It Own It is run by a full board and advisory committee of predominantly women, offering group fitness and enrichment programming for girls in the Fort Wayne area.
“We create an environment that is different than sports yet active—an environment to become a leader as a mentor to other girls, an opportunity to learn how to have friendships outside of your normal circles. Taking you out of your comfort zones is the best way to heighten ourselves and become our best selves, and we provide that in our program and our obstacle run,” Stotlar said.
Bring It Push It Own It offers 10 to 12 week seasonal rotations consisting of weekly meet-ups and additional monthly meet-ups for its young members. Typically meeting at Spiece Fitness, sessions rotate a variety of a group exercise classes including yoga, barre, step aerobics, martial arts and more. Additionally, meetings include an educational discussion on pertinent topics such as identifying toxic relationships and embracing your natural beauty.
Girls will also participate in an obstacle course that takes their teamwork, courage and leadership skills to new heights. The variety and challenge offered by Bring It Push It Own It allows its participants to constantly try new things and achieve their goals along the way.
As the leader of Bring It Push It Own It, Stotlar is especially interested in addressing the confidence issues that arise around ages 11-14 as young women enter adolescence and transition from elementary to middle school.
Noting the often lackluster messages targeted at girls in today’s society, Stotlar feels that, “we really don’t focus on self love and value, inner strength, staying true to yourself, toxic relationships and unique leadership traits in the schools, or give opportunities for diversity outside of their cliques, neighborhoods and family dynamics.”
Girls who participate in Bring It Push It Own It are free to become more secure in who they are while reaching their full potential with the close support of their peers. In the tight-knit group environment of Bring It Push It Own It, young women are able to receive guidance from older girls and set an example for younger girls. Those over 16 are even encouraged to serve as mentors for younger members after completing an initial rotation. The organization’s supportive, judgment-free environment promotes positivity and holistic growth for everyone involved.