We’ve Got Talent!

Our students and tutors alike had the privilege this weekend of participating in the City Heights Runners’ 5K and Fun Run at North Chollas Community Park in City Heights.

Not only did we bring enthusiasm to the competition, we also brought some kids with legit running skills. We were flabbergasted as we arrived at Ibarra Elementary at 6:45am and saw kids already there, ready to go. We probably could have just run to the actual race if we had wanted to! The kids had that much energy. Instead, we ate breakfast together, passed out orange sweatbands and TEAM SDRT t-shirts, and prepped our volunteers and kids for what was ahead. Stressing that this was ‘just a friendly competition’ and that ‘no one would win a million bucks’ were two of the main points. Our kids all had plans to win.

The excitement began to build once the 5k started and many of our own SDRT volunteers took off. We cheered loudly, stretched far to give out high 5s and shouted for each and every participant to cross the finish line. The kids’ erupted when they saw “Doctor Rob” come around that final bend.

Once it was our kids’ turn for their “Fun Run”, all of the SDRT volunteers spread out among the 1-mile course so we could encourage and supervise our kids as they sprinted around the track. With the blink of an eye, they were back at the start line, proudly collecting their medals and momentarily out of breath. It was obvious that some of our kids are ready for a 5k next year! We connected some of our middle schoolers to the City Heights Runners’ Middle School team-this is clearly in their wheelhouse.

Whether it was a lesson in encouraging others, learning perseverance and good sportsmanship, or giving kids background knowledge about races, medals and staying healthy, it was an altogether win. Be thinking about joining our TEAM SDRT at next year’s 5K and Fun Run!


About Melissa Phillips

Melissa Phillips is one of the founders of San Diego Refugee Tutoring and currently serves as its Program Director. She has four incredible children, many years of teaching experience, and a supportive husband who also works in education.


  1. Andrea on March 1, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    This is what it’s all about! Thank you for searching for enriching events like this, outside of the tutoring days. The looks on these kids’ faces is as priceless as the memories they’re receiving from these events. I’m so grateful to be a part of this organization!

  2. Kim Byrd on March 2, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Amazing to see the kids enjoy the outdoors and being with their friends and tutors from SDRT. It was a well-spent morning! The parking lot crew and cheer leaders along the route kept up the enthusiasm. What a beautiful location around Chollas Lake. Well-planned, San Diego Refugee Tutoring team !

  3. Joan Sadorf on March 2, 2020 at 11:50 am

    We had a blast and it was a wonderful time for the kids. Come join us next year!

  4. Laura Lande on March 6, 2020 at 10:24 am

    So much fun to hang out & run with the kids, count me in for next year too!

  5. Colette on March 6, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Sorry I missed all that fun but I got an excited account from the little champ in the big glasses!!!!

    • Melissa Phillips on March 6, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      That is good to hear, Colette! That little guy ran his heart out! We’re glad you’re tutoring him and he got to tell you all about it!

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