Jessica Schnier is the first graduate of the Coaches of Color Initiative
apprenticeship program and the newest addition to our advisory board. An
Iowa native who holds a master’s degree in science education, she now lives
in San Diego, where she coaches runners under the business name Smiles
and Miles. Certified by the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy and
80/20 Endurance, Jessica—an accomplished trail runner—is a local leader of
Trail Sisters and a coach for the All In Trail Collective.
I have seen firsthand how the Coaches of Color Initiative can uplift aspiring coaches of color in the endurance industry. This initiative enriches the diversity of the leaders of our sports, which is not only an investment in the coaches but also the athletes. Representation matters across all fronts, and by increasing the diversity and visibility of coaches with diverse backgrounds, we can make a more inclusive space for all.