Giving Back: Dr. Katie Sandoe & Girls on the Run

Lancaster City is fortunate to have Katie Sandoe’s light inspiring generations to come—through her new role as Executive Director of Girls on the Run Lancaster.

One conversation with Dr. Katie Sandoe, D.Ed., could fix any bad day. Her demeanor is warm and inviting, she pulls books off her shelf to read inspiring quotes, and her thoughtful words of encouragement are just the right amount of motivation and accountability. Even her email is encouraging. At the end of every correspondence message, her email signature encourages the recipient to “Keep shining brightly!” Sandoe chose that as her signature a couple of years ago. “I want to remind people that they matter, that they are beautiful, that they’re unique creatures. I say keep shining your light because the world deeply needs it.” Part of Sandoe’s light is reflected by helping people live purpose-driven lives and championing the advancement of women and girls.

Sandoe first learned of Girls on the Run when she was conducting research in graduate school. She came across a study that examined perception of leadership in girls. The research found that young boys and girls equally want to be leaders. Then something happens in middle school, where the number of girls who raise their hands drops dramatically. They begin to lose their confidence to lead. She shared her dismay with a peer, and they introduced her to Carrie Johnson, founder of Girls on the Run Lancaster-Lebanon. Sandoe instantly fell in love with the organization and served on the board for seven years before becoming the new Executive Director this fall. “I want our girls to believe they can be whatever it is they want, whether it’s President of the United States, an astronaut, a truck driver, a mechanic, a mom…I want them to believe they have limitless potential and no one can stop them.”

Previous to her new role, Sandoe served in a variety of executive capacities. She also recently started a coaching and consulting company to further live into her purpose ( Sandoe empowers her clients to believe in their voice, presence, and power—just like the girls in Girls on the Run. “You have a light for a reason. It shines in the darkness, in a world that’s so full of pain, challenge, and systems of oppression and trauma. All of us need to be those sources of energy and warmth and light in our circles and community.” Lancaster City is fortunate to have Katie Sandoe’s light inspiring generations to come.

To learn more about Girls on the Run, visit

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