Mariana Folco


Mariana is a licensed social worker and Associate Director of Youth Diversion at Students Run Philly Style, a nonprofit organization that engages young people through running and mentorship. In her role, Mariana launched and now leads the MileUp program, which gives youth facing delinquency charges a chance to remain outside of the traditional court system.

A native Spanish-speaker from Argentina, Mariana holds an MSW with clinical concentration from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Boston University. She has spent a decade working in nonprofit organizations, bilingual social service agencies, and youth development programs. A lifelong athlete and longtime coach, Mariana has worked as a facilitator and adjunct instructor to integrate trauma-informed practices into youth programs, particularly those that use sport as a tool for development and community building. She currently also serves as a field instructor for the Sport Social Work Certificate program through the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports.

Research and Scholarly Interests

  • Trauma and the brain/ neuroscience
  • Healing-centered youth program design
  • Social-emotional youth development
  • Restorative justice interventions
  • Development/delivery of trauma-informed sport intervention models
  • Role of sports in mental health, community development, social justice, and racial equity