Carlson, a business project senior specialist at Cigna, was one of two co-founders who built a chapter of Girls on the Run International in the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area. The organization uses physical activity to help 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls develop confidence, values and decision-making skills. This is especially important as they approach increasing challenges as teens and young adults. The Girls on the Run program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a 5k running event.
Carlson’s dedication toward helping girls develop skills through running came from her own experience on her high school cross country team and, later, though the loss of her mother to cancer. In 2006 Kori helped launch the Salt Lake City chapter of Girls on the Run. When she moved to the Twin Cities in 2008 and found there was no local chapter, she knew she had to start one.
“Running helped me through so much,” Carlson said. “It helped me find my place and experience sportsmanship and the support of a team when I was in high school and then it gave me an outlet while I was grieving the loss of my mother. I wanted to help give girls the chance to grow as I did through physical activity.
“To have my employer’s support is so important to the success of Girls on the Run in the Twin Cities. I’m so grateful to be named Volunteer of the Year, especially since I was chosen for the honor from so many Cigna employees who do such great work in their communities,” Carlson said.
“By bringing Girls on the Run to the Twin Cities, Kori has personally helped to improve the health and well-being of hundreds of girls,” said David Cordani, Cigna's President and CEO. “Cigna employees around the world share a commitment to helping people be healthy, active and productive, so they can reach their full potential. Kori is a prime example of this. We’re proud to have her as part of our team and we’re thrilled to honor her as Cigna's Volunteer of the Year.”
The Cigna Foundation also announced a national partnership with Girls on the Run that will include further support as they help girls build healthy lifestyle habits during a critical time in their development.
Carlson was honored with a $5,000 donation to Girls on the Run in the Twin Cities from the Cigna Foundation and a $2,500 personal award from Cigna, which she received Friday April 4 at a luncheon with Cigna CEO David Cordani at the company’s Bloomfield, Conn. headquarters.
The Cigna Volunteer of the Year is chosen by the Cigna Foundation from 12 volunteers recognized monthly throughout the year.
About Cigna and the Cigna Foundation
Founded in 1962, the Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
About Girls on the Run International
Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity–based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd to 8th grade designed to develop and enhance girls’ competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. At Girls on the Run, trained and supportive coaches and volunteers teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goals of the program are to develop and improve competence, unleash confidence through accomplishment, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community, all while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. For more information about Girls on the Run® visit www.girlsontherun.org.