Planet Fitness Awards $150,000 In Scholarships To 30 Boys & Girls Clubs Of America Teens For Their Efforts To Promote A Kinder And More Inclusive World
Posted: June 30, 2021 in Chains
HAMPTON, N.H. – Planet Fitness, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, has announced the recipients of its annual Judgement Free Generation scholarships, which recognize teens for their commitment to promoting inclusion, acceptance and kindness in their communities. Thirty deserving Boys & Girls Clubs of America teens were each awarded $5,000 for their inspiring efforts to create a brighter, more accepting future, of which nearly two-thirds (63%) of recipients will be first-generation college students.
Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free Generation charitable initiative, in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, has awarded a total of $650,000 in scholarships to-date since 2017. To celebrate and honor the recipients, Planet Fitness, Company franchisees and Boys & Girls Clubs of America teamed up with Sky Brown, a 12-year-old professional skateboarder, to surprise all winners with news of their scholarships via a Zoom call. Brown, an upcoming summer 2021 Olympian, also shared anecdotes about overcoming challenges in the past and coming out stronger than ever.
Planet Fitness created this scholarship program to recognize the many teens who continue to promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion in their communities, encompassing all the qualities that Planet Fitness and 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 actively promotes these values.
The 30 scholarship winners selected by Planet Fitness and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are as follows:
- Zakaria S. (Altamonte Springs, Fla.);
- Nicholas C. (Berlin, Wis.);
- Karla G. (Canoga Park, Calif.);
- Emily T. (Canoga Park, Calif.);
- Uchenna A. (Carson, Calif.);
- Azeneth J. (Carson, Calif.);
- Claudia D. (Chicago, Ill.);
- Leilani S. (Culver City, Calif.);
- Abram R. (Eureka, Calif.);
- Fredy P. (Holland, Mich.);
- Ebony R. (Holland, Mich.);
- Preston B. (Huntington, Ind.);
- Mailyn T. (Milwaukee, Wis.);
- Iman S. (Milwaukee, Wis.);
- Edward V. (Milwaukee, Wis.);
- Kiara M. (Mobile, Ala.);
- Janaya B. (Raleigh, N.C.);
- Bianca G. (Reseda, Calif.);
- Alizabeth A. (Rochester, Wash.);
- Valeria B. (San Pedro, Calif.);
- Stefanny C. (San Pedro, Calif.);
- Daniel C. (San Pedro, Calif.);
- Valeria R. (San Pedro, Calif.);
- Victor G. (Santa Ana, Calif.);
- Ivy N. (Lowell, Mass.);
- T’kiyah S. (Manchester, N.H.);
- Bukuru J. (Milwaukee, Wis.);
- Myangel A. (West Park, Fla.);
- Lauren S. (Woburn, Mass.);
- Tyra J. (Worcester, Mass.).
In one winning submission, Uchenna A. from Carson, Calif., expressed the importance of not letting bullying keep anyone down from achieving their full potential. He said, “Being bullied has made me closed off from others around me. However, over the years due to the kindness of others, I have grown to accept myself for who I am. I have become comfortable living my life, and this has inspired me to instill the same courage in others.” He is now looking forward to continuing his education as a first-generation college student and hopes to continue spreading positivity in the years to come.
“This academic year has been difficult for so many students, and I’m humbled by how these scholarship recipients have been able to persevere through all types of obstacles,” said Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness’ Chief Executive Officer. “As home of the Judgement Free Zone®, Planet Fitness is honored to recognize each of them for making the world a kinder, more inclusive place. There’s no doubt in my mind that all 30 students will continue leading by example and spreading kindness for a brighter tomorrow.”
“We are thrilled to honor students who are furthering our shared mission of spreading kindness and helping others to reach their full potential,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of America President and CEO Jim Clark. “Our priority has always been improving the lives of every kid and teen that walks through our doors, and we couldn’t be more excited to award these scholarships, in partnership with Planet Fitness, during a year that has been difficult for so many.”
Since 2016, together with its franchisees, members, and partners, Planet Fitness has donated more than $5 million to support anti-bullying, pro-kindness initiatives. As part of the program, the Company has funded first-of-its-kind pro-kindness and bullying prevention trainings for Boys & Girls Clubs of America professionals and youth, engaged in volunteer efforts and built welcoming gym spaces known as Mini Judgement Free Zones in select Boys & Girls Clubs of America throughout the country.