There are many barriers that can hold people back from their running and mental health journey vary, such as:
Not having or being able to afford a proper pair of shoes, running clothes, or other gear.
Little or no knowledge about what it takes to start, and keep, running.
Not knowing how to get started.
Having anxiety surrounding running, exercise, races, or following a training plan.
Not having a support system or lacking accountability.
To help overcome these barriers, change lives through running for mental health, this scholarship provides
Brand new pair of New Balance Running Shoes.
High quality running gear including a shirt, bottoms, & socks (Plus, a Oiselle Sports Bra if needed)
Personalized coaching, mentoring, and training plans through the VDOT training platform with regular check ins.
Free entry into a 5k or 10k race of your choice, or a 10-12 week plan if you don't want to run a race.
As a Starting Line Scholarship recipient, you'll also get Still I Run Swag, access to a private GroupMe chat with other recipients in your co-hort, and access to a large community of mental health running warriors.
Still I Run teams up with a handful of certified running coaches to assist with the Starting Line Scholarship. Each scholarship recipient is paired with a coach for personalized coaching, training plans, and mentorship.
Our coaches are specifically chosen because of their personal and professional connection to mental health issues. This makes them uniquely suited to help our scholarship recipients thrive in their journey of running for mental health.
Apply for the Scholarship
If you are serious about wanting to run for your mental health, but you’ve fallen on hard times, need extra encouragement during this season of life, and/or can’t afford the necessary resources, then this scholarship is for you.
The Starting Line Scholarship is designed to encourage and motivate anyone that wants to get in the regular habit of running as a form of therapy, exercise, and release.
You must have a valid mailing address in the United States of America. Children under 18 years of age can apply with the consent and accountability of a legal guardian to ensure the child's success.
A letter of recommendation from a family member, friend, colleague, therapist, or someone close to you is required for your application to be considered. The letter does not have to be long, however it must touch on why the Starting Line Scholarship would be important to you and why they believe your mental health would benefit from receiving the scholarship.
If you have applied before and were not accepted, you may apply again. Previous recipients of the scholarship may not apply again and applications submitted will not be considered.
This program is 100% free. No cost to apply, no cost to participate. We never want money to be a barrier when it comes to running for mental health.
As a reminder, Still I Run is a mental health advocacy group and the programs we offer, including the Starting Line Scholarship, should not be used in place of professional mental health help. The components of this scholarship are intended to assist in starting a person in starting their journey in running for mental health. If you feel you need professional mental health help, please see our Mental Health Resources page.
Applications are open year round and reviewed several times a year. Apply by the dates below to be considered for the cohort
Spring Cohort - March 28
Fall Cohort – August 31
2024 and beyond
Winter/Spring Cohort - January 31
Spring/Summer Cohort - April 30
Summer/Fall - August 31
The selection committee will review the applications and let applicants know of their status within two weeks of the application closing date.
Testimonials from Past Participants
Getting the Still I Run Starting Line scholarship has been such a blessing in my life because I don't want to let anyone down, including myself and my daughter, and I don't want to waste these amazing resources and this unique opportunity to get better. Still I Run is giving me renewed strength and courage to face my fears and look for support and answers and never give up.
Through the Still I Run Scholarship I was challenged, but also encouraged and inspired. I wasn't perfect at the training or the final race but I learned so much along the way about myself and running. I learned what it feels like to persevere through the mental health hurdles and come out on the other side. My coach and mentor we're invaluable resources and sources of motivation through the journey.
The Starting Line scholarship was a major catalyst in getting me back on track, physically and mentally. The items I received as a recipient of the scholarship were just the push I needed. Now I can't stop running. Mentally and physically I'm feeling better than ever. Now I feel like myself again thanks to Still I Run. I also feel as if I'm a better and stronger runner because of the experience of training with a coach.