About Us

The 9.11 Promise is a journey of remembrance and honor while also providing an opportunity to help the children of those who have sacrificed for our communities and country. The journey begins at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and individuals will have a choice to run to Ground Zero or to bike to Shanksville, PA.

Total Raised


Each Scholarship

$5K – $15K

Students Supported


Where we Started

The 9.11 Promise, established in 2016, began as one event held to keep a promise that was made in 2001 when our country, the United States of America, was attacked. The event was held to honor the lives lost, as well as the emergency personnel and military who responded with the greatest of courage. In 2016, a team of only seven runners from different backgrounds came together and ran from the Pentagon in Washington, DC to Ground Zero in New York City while raising over $23K all of which went to charity. During this run, they connected and formed friendships with local fire departments, police departments and community members. They remembered, and they honored.

Growing our Impact

Each year, as the event grew in size and fundraising totals, the mission evolved. It became a mission about honoring all First Responders and Military Service Members who keep our country and community safe. Additionally, we began to look forward and see that the sacrifices these Heroes endure can result in their families struggling to provide basic necessities. We, therefore, wanted to do our part to help their children. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and Erasmus said, “The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.” We provide educational scholarships to children of fallen and/or injured First Responders and Military Service Members. In 2019, we awarded our inaugural scholarships to 10 amazing kids who have handled the challenges that come along with parents who are gone or no longer able to work.

With an incredible mission, we added to our signature September event. In 2019, we added a Bike event that takes place simultaneously. The Bike athletes start at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial alongside the Run athletes on September 9th of each year. While the Run athletes make their journey to New York, the Bike athletes make a journey to the United Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA where they, too, finish on September 11th. Both the Run and Bike athletes commit to fundraising $1000 each all of which goes into the scholarship pool of money. Each athlete will experience a journey of a lifetime! The opportunity to remember and honor, to raise funds for children of those who have sacrificed for our communities and nation, and to grow with family and friends. There are over 20 Fire Departments and Police Departments involved in the September signature event.

“I am beyond thrilled and honored to have been awarded the 9.11 Promise Scholarship towards my tuition as I continue my journey at the University of Michigan to be a registered nurse.  I am a proud child of a first responder (FDNY)  and your contribution towards my education has been nothing short of a blessing.”

-Colleen Kelly
2022 Recipient

Experience the Journey


Each year, join the 9.11 Promise’s signature event which pays tribute to our beginnings. Starting on September 9th each year, run and bike athletes gather at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Over three days, these athletes go on a journey of Promise, Remembrance and Honor. Teams of runners run 240 miles to Ground Zero in New York City while teams of cyclists bike 200 miles to the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. The event culminates in athletes finishing their journey on September 11th. These events are supported by various fire houses along the respective routes. Athletes raise money all of which goes towards scholarships that are awarded to the children of heroes.


The 9.11 Promise is led by founder Jen DePoto, and supported by a Board of Directors and volunteers who come together to help realize the future of students across the country.


Jen DePoto

Founder & President
Board of Directors

Jenn Nicosia

Scholarship Lead
Board of Directors

Scott Schermerhorn

Board of Directors

Dan Baden

Board of Directors

David Bialas

Sponsorship Committee Lead
Board of Directors

David Morzenti

Board of Directors

Kalii Roller

Board of Directors

Stacy Clardy

Board of Directors

Charles Hall


Kathleen Clardy