ABOUT YOUTH RUN NOLA

Founded in 2010 as an after-school club in St. Bernard Parish, Youth Run NOLA benefited from a wealth of generosity and guidance as a project of the Young Leadership Council. Since its founding, the organization has served more than 900 students at 35 school sites, run more than 25,000 miles, and logged more than 35,000 volunteer hours. We create and empower a community of healthy, young leaders through running, with an intensive eight-month guided training program of twice weekly practices and monthly events overseen by teacher-coaches and volunteer running buddies. Our program combats the obstacles facing our youth – many of whom cope with unsafe, unhealthy, and unsupportive circumstances – with positive, structured after-school engagement.

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900
YOUTH

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35
SCHOOL SITES

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30K
MILES RAN

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35K
VOLUNTEER HOURS

THE PROBLEM

Across the Greater New Orleans region, many youth — especially those living in lower-income communities — lack consistent exposure and access to healthy ways of living at home, at school, or in their neighborhood. Gaps in healthy habits throughout youth can result in obesity or other long-term physical and mental health problems. Many young people could also benefit deeply from healthy relationships with a supportive peer network and positive role models.

THE PLAN

By partnering with schools and community sites, we believe we can help youth develop healthy habits for life through distance running. The individual act of putting one foot in front of the other instills the importance of endurance, focus, and committing to a goal. By participating with Youth Run NOLA year after year, our youth become addicted to this sense of accomplishment felt at each finish line and the love of their supportive teammates. Running becomes a metaphor for achieving goals. We believe the next generation should truly run this city.

OUR PROGRAM

Youth Run NOLA is a locally grown non-profit organization that supports 10-18 year olds across St. Bernard, Orleans, and Jefferson Parishes. Guided by teacher-coaches at school and community-site chapters and volunteer running buddies at monthly races, our youth — many with little or no prior experience running — develop a commitment to healthy choices. Each week at practices, youth train alongside their teacher-coaches through a rigorous curriculum of sprint and distance workouts, nutrition and physiology education, and team-building.
In the process, our participants develop the endurance required on a running route and in life, a strong belief in themselves and others, and an expanded sense of all that is possible. All the while having an epic amount of fun.

THE YOUTH RUN NOLA TEAM

Our team consists of a diverse group of community members from a range of professional backgrounds who share a belief in equal opportunity for and the power of young people.

  • OUR STAFF
  • OUR BOARD

Denali Lander
Executive Director

denali@youthrunnola.org

Caleb Dufresne
Program Director

caleb@youthrunnola.org

Jon Lee
Director of Youth Experience

jon@youthrunnola.org

Shaq LeBlanc
Up2Us Sports Coach Across America Site Coordinator

caleb@youthrunnola.org

Hannah Coleman
Up2Us Sports Coach Across America Site Coordinator

hannah@youthrunnola.org

Kat Walker
Director of Junior Varsity Youth Experience

kat@youthrunnola.org

Craneisha Nettles
Up2Us Sports AmeriCorps VISTA Development Associate

craneisha@youthrunnola.org

Ebony Blackwell

Chris Bowers

Damon Singleton

Samantha Frost

Trey Monaghan

Ethan Ashley

Sarah Casey

Elaine Garvey

Stefan Lallinger

Lorraine Chotin

Josh McCarty

Mary Grace Rome

Michael Schmidt

THE YOUTH RUN NOLA TEAM

Our team consists of a diverse group of community members from a range of professional backgrounds who share a belief in equal opportunity for and the power of young people.

Denali Lander
Executive Director

Caleb Dufresne
Program Director

Jon Lee
AmeriCorps VISTA

Ebony Blackwell

Chris Bowers

Damon Singleton

Samantha Frost

Trey Monaghan

Ethan Ashley

Sarah Casey

Elaine Garvey

Stefan Lallinger

Elly Lane

Josh McCarty

Mary Grace Rome

Michael Schmidt

Andre Feigler
Co-Founder and Advisor

Alex Lebow
Co-Founder and Advisor

Mark Berger
Advisor


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