Teens Run DC is a year-round, after-school distance running, mentoring, and community engagement program that promotes the physical, social, and emotional well-being of low-income youth. Based at DC middle and high schools, the program matches students of all ability levels with mentors who challenge and guide them as they train for progressively longer-distance races and participate in a year-long social and emotional learning curriculum. Within this supportive community, they learn responsibility, discipline, perseverance, and goal-setting skills. They improve cardiovascular capacity and overall health and, perhaps more importantly, gain the confidence, resilience, and life skills they need to succeed often in the face of significant challenges in school and after. By the end of the year, students have formed strong bonds with their mentors and teammates, participated in monthly community-wide social activities or volunteer opportunities, and - impressively completed up to six distance races (some even run marathons!). You can help these young people continue to make great strides, on the roads, and in their lives.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 8

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; Anacostia, Southeast DC; Columibia Heights, Northwest DC

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income

Schools They Work In: Ballou High School; Cardozo Education Campus; Johnson Middle School; Kelly Miller Middle School; DC International PCS; Also, community based services out of our new location on Bowen Rd SE


  • Impact of student involvement in program:  
    - Students in the Teens Run DC program demonstrated an increase in feelings of self-efficacy and sense of connection over the course of the school year.
  • Impact of student involvement in program:  
    - By the end of the school year, TRDC participants reported having higher future orientation than non-program participants-- meaning that over time, students gained a stronger sense of hope for securing a positive future for themselves.
  • Physical health impact of student involvement in the program:  
    - Aerobic capacity, the rate at which oxygen can be taken into and used by the body during exercise, significantly improved over the course of the year for students who participated in the program.

Awards & Recognition

President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award, 2014

Press

  • 89 Ways To Change A Life
    Sat Sep 6 2014, Esquire Magazine  
    Mentors encourage and support students in running and their lives. Run or walk with a student and you will together set and achieve goals.

Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Teens Run DC is: Less than $500k

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