Have you ever had the thought to run a 5k, 10k, or even a marathon? Though programs like C25k and Nike Training Camp provide a guideline for people to reach these goals on their own, Students Run Philly Style provides a way for young people to receive free mentorship and guidance as they work towards the large goal of completing a road race.
I’ve talked a bit about how much I love organizations that share my values, so I figured there’s no better time than the present to share some with you! I have personal ties with Students Run, having been a student during the first ever Blue season in 2014 where I trained to run the Broad Street Run, a famous 10-miler in Philadelphia. After recovering from an eating disorder, this program at my school helped me create a healthier relationship with my body, connect with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and keep myself accountable in order to achieve something great.
Mission: Students Run Philly Style transforms students‘ lives through running and mentorship.Student Run Philly Style Website
Population: Philadelphia and Camden, NJ middle and high school students
In the 2018-2019 academic year, the Philadelphia school district consisted of 46% African American students and 24% Latinx students, two of the most socioeconomically vulnerable populations in the country. The City has already expressed its position for more Out-of-School Time (OST) opportunities for students across the city to avoid exposure or committing criminal activity, as well as fortifying learning experiences. As municipal funding has been stretched and strained, it has been up to local non-profits to fill the gap the city has left for the at-risk youth in the city.
The Students Run Philly Style program is based on having teams based generally at schools led by staff at those schools. The teams collaborate with each other to have larger group practices all over the city, but within accessibility of travel for the students. These teams also have volunteer mentors that help motivate the students during their practices and races, building meaningful relationships and increase self-esteem within the students.
The program divides the year into Blue and Green seasons; the Blue season lands in the beginning of the school year, where students train for the Broad Street Run in June. The Green season starts during the summer time, where students train for a little longer in order to prepare for the full or half at the Philadelphia Marathon in November.
Students receive a lot of perks: free Students Run swag, free registration to the chip-timed races, free sneakers, covered transportation, and a free pasta dinner to carb-load before the big race of the season. If you complete the full marathon, you even get a cool hoodie that says how many times you finished the race. There are some impressive numbers!
This organization is definitely an asset to the city as it provides opportunity to those who may have never done so otherwise. Had I not joined my high school’s team in the last few months of my senior year, I probably would have never developed an athletic mindset with skating. The barrier to running these road races with proper training and equipment may seem low to some, but in a city with such a high poverty rate, this program means the world to many of its students.
Students Run has already posed itself as a lasting institution of the city landscape, hosting an annual race that benefits the program as well as pushing out impressive impact statistics year after year. With their recent admission into the Implementation cohort with the RISE Partnership, there’s no doubt that this organization will continue to help cultivate many more healthy lifestyles.
Ways you can help
They can always use more funds for operations and being able to supply more resources for their students!
Race day volunteers are invaluable! You can also become a running leader.
2 birds with one stone! Raise money for a good cause while you run your favorite race.
Question of the Day!
Have you ever run in a race? The longest race I’ve ever done was that 10-miler, but maybe one day I’ll go for the half!