Planet Fitness’ Annual National Scholarship Awards $150,000 to 30 Boys & Girls Club Youth For Their Commitment To Kindness and Inclusion
Posted: July 17, 2019 in Chains
HAMPTON, N.H. – Planet Fitness, Inc., home of the Judgement Free Zone and one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S., announced it has awarded 30 youth from Boys & Girls Clubs across the country with $5,000 individual scholarships. Unlike most scholarship programs, which reward youth for academics or athletic abilities, these were awarded based on each teen’s inspiring efforts to create a kinder world for today’s youth as part of the company’s Judgement Free Generation initiative, which aims to prevent bullying and promote kindness everywhere. To celebrate the scholarship recipients, Planet Fitness joined Boys & Girls Clubs to host surprise graduation ceremonies throughout the country.
Based on the results of a national study* commissioned by Planet Fitness, 43 percent of parents feel that kids are “meaner” today than they were when they were children, while more than two in five (44 percent) parents admit they are not spreading kindness themselves by teaching their children the importance of simply being kind. Even more concerning is that 53 percent feel there are dangerous forms of bullying today that did not exist just one generation ago, with social media continuing to influence the actions and feelings of today’s youth in both positive and negative ways.
In an effort to create a more empowering future for young people everywhere, Planet Fitness set up this scholarship to recognize teens who promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion in their communities, qualities that Planet Fitness and its charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, strongly support. Scholarship recipients were selected based on multiple criteria, including a personal essay, staff recommendation and video submission that demonstrated how each youth perpetuates values of kindness, acceptance, respect and tolerance.
Since 2016, Planet Fitness and its franchisees have donated more than $4 million in support of the cause. As part of the program, the Company has funded first-of-its-kind pro-kindness and bullying prevention trainings for Boys & Girls Club professionals and youth, engaged in ongoing volunteer efforts and built welcoming gym spaces known as Mini Judgement Free Zones at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country.
The 30 deserving scholarship winners selected by Planet Fitness and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are as follows:
- Amyah B. (Theodore, AL);
- Jaleelat A. (Canoga Park, CA);
- Elanne E. (Mobile, AL);
- Angeline B. (Canoga Park, CA);
- Jarren N. (Mobile, AL);
- Pauline M. (Canoga Park, CA);
- Clara O. (Indianapolis, IN);
- Ashley P. (Canoga Park, CA);
- Teshi E. (Carson, CA);
- Charlie N. (San Francisco, CA);
- Jazz R. (Carson, CA);
- Angel V. (Holland, MI);
- Evelyn P. (Napa, CA);
- Jacquelin M. (Orange Cove, CA);
- Mary I. (Southport, CT);
- Islande V. (Immokalee, FL);
- Aidan S. (Milford, CT);
- Katherine W. (Fort Lewis, WA);
- Symone W. (Knoxville, TN);
- Sayuri H. (Las Vegas, NV);
- Katelyn H. (Wake Forest, NC);
- Ian B. (Pittsfield, MA);
- Maria M. (Carlsbad, CA);
- Tara M. (Scottsdale, AZ);
- Destiny D. (Tucson, AZ);
- Tahiti A. (Wailuku, HI);
- Anai A. (Denver, CO);
- Jocelyn A. (Santa Ana, CA);
- Leslie B. (Portland, OR);
- Yesenia G. (Santa Ana, CA).
In a winning submission from Tara M. from Scottsdale, Ariz., the scholarship recipient shared the importance of empowering today’s youth to become the best they can be. Tara shared, “I am a role model and insist on building character within the children whom I mentor, as I believe minds are most malleable in youth and should be taught acceptance in efforts to take preventative action against bullying.”
“It’s an honor to recognize several youth across the country who have already made (and will continue to make) an impact within their communities as part of Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free Generation initiative,” said Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness’ Chief Executive Officer. “Our hope for the future is that all youth create a world that is both inclusive and free from judgement, and these impressive teens are a great example of that.”
“The emotional safety of our Club members is of utmost importance to Boys & Girls Clubs. Through our partnership with Planet Fitness, we are able to provide positive club climate trainings to Club professionals and teen leaders, and are thrilled to award scholarships to youth who are furthering our shared mission of spreading kindness,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of America President and CEO Jim Clark.