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Students Run Philly Style

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy


1760 Market StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19103 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Students Run Philly Style transforms Philadelphia youth through running and mentorship. The program's unique mentoring model pairs adult volunteers with youth facing adversity. Students and mentors spend 10 hours per week training together, creating lasting and impactful relationships. Mentors support the students as they set goals, train, and ultimately achieve what they once thought was impossible: the completion of a full or a half marathon.

Giving youth a greater chance at success in life: Many organizations and individuals are working to address the education and social crisis facing Philadelphia youth. Students Run is focused on three parts of the solution: 1) identifying children who are at risk of failure; 2) providing the social and emotional support they need to achieve academic and socioemotional success; and 3) creating a safe and supportive environment for transformative out-of-school time engagement.

Running provides students and mentors with a shared goal, but the program impact extends well beyond the health benefits of long distance running. The Students Run Philly Style program gives Philadelphia youth a greater chance for success in life by providing positive and supportive adult role models who help young people avoid truancy, drugs, violence, and other risky behaviors while strengthening their self-confidence, social interactions, and academic engagement.

Serving youth across Philadelphia
Students Run Philly Style represents a true cross-section of Philadelphia, serving 12-18-year-olds from public, charter and parochial schools in every neighborhood in the city. More than 80% of youth participants live in zip codes with high concentrations of families living below the Federal Poverty Level. Approximately 37% of participants are African-American, 20% are Asian-American, 20% are White, and 17% are Latino/Hispanic. Program participants achieve measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors.

Leading the field in mentor training for adult volunteers: Students Run Philly Style helps foster youth who are undaunted by the many obstacles life throws their way. The mentoring relationship is critical to the process, and all mentors receive training designed to build resiliency in youth. Through a partnership with resilience expert Dr. Ken Ginsberg of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Students Run Philly Style provides regular training and professional development opportunities for more than 300 mentors who power the program. Pairing youth with these caring, positive adults, supported by resilience- based skills and knowledge training, results in a student who believes that anything is possible.

Program Outcomes
A 2-year impact study found the following results:
41% of students increased their GPA
99.5% of students were promoted to the next grade
50% decreased their incidents of violent behavior
80% increased or maintained high levels of self confidence
91% of 12th grade students graduated high school
90% of those graduates were accepted into a 4-year college
Long-term results indicate a decrease in Body Mass Index overall

Program Numbers
1,300: youth served annually.
4 to 1: Average ratio of mentor to youth
10: average number of hours a week mentors spend with youth
75%: Youth who return to the program after completing it
55: Number of schools where teams are located across Philadelphia


Mentors have to complete a background screening. Because the relationship is built around the training schedules, we ask that the mentors be committed to training alongside their team. Mentors train with mentees between 6-10 hours a week. We ask that volunteers commit to attend at least 2 practices a week.


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