Got Grit?



Youth Mentoring Partnership (YMP) is committed to helping kids develop the grit to overcome formidable challenges to be successful today and in the future. Our mentoring programs help youth to master goal setting skills, build mental toughness, and forge character through intense physical fitness and sports.


Got Grit?

Those who possess high levels of grit are more likely to be successful – in the classroom, at work, and in life!  Grit is passion and perseverance for the achievement of long-term goals, especially in the face of obstacles[1],[2].  This character trait enables individuals to succeed in the struggle to overcome adversity, failure and achieve their goals.  Research shows YMP students are developing grit, click here to download.


Check out our video to hear our students, parents and mentors talk about grit and the impact of our programs!



Friend Fitness Program

At Friend Fitness, YMP’s signature mentoring program, we develop grit in our kids through a unique approach that combines an intense strength training protocol with challenging, and ongoing, academic, behavioral and fitness goal setting.

Friend Fitness matches volunteer mentors with local teenagers that can benefit from a positive role model. During challenging weekly workouts the objective of each exercise is to create a “moment of choice” where the student has the choice to give up or persevere.

With consistency, encouragement and earned recognition students learn that “pushing through” challanges, giving 100% effort and “bouncing back`” from setbacks and failures are the keys to success. Not just in the gym but in life!

Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania with the Temple University Sport Industry Research Center showed ground breaking results that Friend Fitness Program students are developing grit.[3]


To learn more about the Friend Fitness Program, visit:


If you are interested in referring a student or becoming a mentor, please use the contact form below.

Potential mentors and students can contact Alex Penman for more info.



[1] Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  Click here to download and here for more 'grit' research

[2] Tough, P. (2013). How children succeed: Grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character.

[3] Major, C. (2013).  Youth Mentoring Partnership's Friend Fitness Program:  Theoretical Foundations and Promising Preliminary Findings from a New Positive Psychology Intervention for Grit and Positive Youth Development.  Click here to download.


If you are interested in speaking more about our work at YMP / Friend Fitness and "Got Grit?" movement, please contact us at 484-595-9204.

Or use the Quick Contact form below and someone will be in touch as soon as possible!