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 1,000 students at 35 public school sites and 6 neighborhood parks, run more than 30,000 miles, and logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. We create and empower a community of healthy, young leaders through running, with an intensive eight-month guided training program of weekly practices and monthly events guided by teacher-coaches and community member volunteers. Our program offers youth a positive, structured environment to build healthy habits, set and achieve goals, and develop supportive relationships.

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1,000
YOUTH

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35
SCHOOL SITES

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30K
MILES RAN

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40K
VOLUNTEER HOURS

THE PROBLEM

Many youth across the Greater New Orleans region lack consistent exposure and access to healthy-living opportunities at home, at school, or in their neighborhood and community. Gaps in healthy habits throughout youth can result in obesity or other long-term physical and mental health problems. Many young people also experience extended benefits from healthy relationships with a supportive peer network and positive role models. Due to systemic inequity in health opportunity, these gaps more significantly impact lower-income communities and communities of color.

THE PLAN

By partnering with schools and community sites, we believe we can support youth in developing 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 are working on their individual goals with a supportive community of adults and peers. Running with Youth Run NOLA becomes a metaphor for achieving goals and leading a healthy community. We believe the next generation will truly run this city.

OUR PROGRAM

Youth Run NOLA is a locally grown, sports-based youth development non-profit that supports 8-18 year olds across St. Bernard, Orleans, and Jefferson Parishes. Guided by a diverse team of teacher-coaches, family, and community members at practice, regional parks, and races around the city, our youth — many with little or no prior experience running — develop a commitment to healthy choices. Each week at school-based practices, youth train alongside their teacher-coaches through a rigorous curriculum of sprint and distance workouts, anatomy and running literacy, team-building, and reflection. The Youth Run NOLA family comes together at monthly races of 5k, 10k, and half marathon distances to run, walk, or jog in celebration of our community and progress. Our youth and adult team members develop the endurance required on a running route and in life, a strong belief in themselves and others, and an expanded sense of what is possible. All 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 commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and a belief in the power of young people.

  • OUR STAFF
  • OUR BOARD

Denali Lander
Executive Director

denali@youthrunnola.org

Ebony Blackwell
Program Director

ebony@youthrunnola.org

Jon Lee
Program Manager

jon@youthrunnola.org

Hannah Coleman
Community Engagement Manager

hannah@youthrunnola.org

Chris Bowers

Damon Singleton

Samantha Frost

Stefan Lallinger

Lorraine Chotin

Josh McCarty

Mary Grace Rome

Michael Schmidt

Sarah Casey

Elaine Garvey (Board Chair)

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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