Based at DC middle and high schools, Teens Run matches low-income youth with mentors who challenge and guide them both in school and in after-school programs throughout the academic year. Within this supportive community they train for progressively longer races and participate in a social and emotional learning curriculum: responsibility, discipline, perseverance, and goal-setting are key. They improve cardiovascular capacity and overall health and, importantly, gain the confidence, resilience, and life skills they need to succeed, often in the face of significant challenges. By year's end, 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.

COVID-19 Update: In response to the pandemic, Teens Run DC coaches have implemented a new, condensed virtual version of the TRDC in-person curriculum. This curriculum still consists of the Physical Activity and SEL (social- emotional learning) sessions, but also includes an additional session for tutoring. The number of programs per school is based on availability in the schools' schedules.

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 Community Members

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


  • 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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