Our Impact

The Impact of Side-by-Side Mentorship

Our students and mentors gain so much more through this process than just increased cardiovascular fitness. During the many training runs that take place each year, the opportunities for in-depth conversations are plentiful. Mentors learn about the trials and tribulations in young people’s lives and assist them in finding solutions and standing strong in the face of adversity. Conversely, students get advice on college and career planning as well as goal setting among other things while having the undivided attention of a caring adult. Our resilience-based program model focuses on developing the skills students need to be successful when challenges arise — both in and out of the classroom and well into their adult lives.


I Run This City Fosters Resilience in Camden Youth

Long-distance running is an exercise in endurance and paired with a supportive mentor who trains alongside them, students prove they can continue to push forward, regardless of how far away the finish line may seem. Endurance is habit forming, and as students learn to set and accomplish goals physically, these skills transfer to problem-solving elsewhere. Much like the road to success, long-distance running is not a straight line; there are steps forward and setbacks that arise, and to keep moving forward, students must be patient, dedicated, and essentially, resilient. These learned behaviors teach students that success in a race does not depend on being the fastest, but to keep going. By applying these learned behaviors,, students learn the value of showing up and are taught to troubleshoot challenges. iRun students learn that the road to success is not always clear, but with persistence and determination, they can create a road to achievement that is ultimately their own.

Students Run Philly Style, our sister program, is committed to annual evaluations to inform all of its programming. A 2-year evaluation conducted through Temple and Drexel Universities reported the following about SRPS youth:

  • 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


I Run This City aspires to achieve similar results in Camden, NJ. If you would like to help create this impact for youth, click here!