Tristram stepped onto our Young Professionals Board in late 2016 and has been a driving force behind this leadership body ever since. In just a short time on the YPB, Tristram has excelled in this role not just because of his relentless desire to serve, but also because of his passion for the mission. His desire to use his skills, his connections, and his expertise for the greater good is admirable; he has played a tremendous role in deepening the impact of our program and amplifying our reach. Tristram’s efforts have translated directly into dollars for our program to outfit our members with running shoes and new perspectives on life, an increasing awareness for the issues that affect our clientele, and the momentum behind our mission to transform lives one mile at a time.

Today Tristram receives the Excellence Award at the Exelon Energy for the Community Awards Ceremony. Read some of his thoughts below about the impact Back on My Feet has had on his life.

Running is an absurd pastime. Running in circles around a track; running the same route for training every day; running out of sheer compulsion: it’s nuts. Pushing oneself through grueling mile after mile in harsh conditions, day in and day out is absurd.

This absurd pastime, however, helped me find meaning in my life in the most chaotic of times. I have never endured anything close to the struggles that Back on My Feet members have. Drug addiction, homelessness, chronic unemployment, estrangement from family never plagued me, but by the time I reached high school, I had plenty about which to be angry, lost, or depressed. However, reached out to me. Someone believed in me. Someone introduced me to running and helped me to find meaning in my life again through this sport.

I see Back on My Feet reaching residents of Baltimore in their darkest times. These residents need community, meaning, stability, and love – running with Back on My Feet does just this by developing confidence, camaraderie, and purpose in its members.

Back on My Feet will not reach everyone, but investing time and money in this organization is not throwing anonymous funds after vague solutions. Rather it is supporting the on-the-ground human interactions of staff, team members, alumni, and volunteers that re-ignite hope and purpose of life in those who are lost, angry, and cast aside. For those it does reach, it can make the difference between remaining an angry, lonely teenager and becoming a leading community citizen. And that is worth it every time.

We’re so lucky to have volunteers like Tristram advocating on our behalf, and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.