Company strengthens commitment to the development – and future – of youth nationwide
HAMPTON, N.H., June 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, today announced the recipients of its annual Judgement Free Generation® scholarship, which recognize teens for their commitment to promoting kindness and contributing to a more judgement free planet. Fifty deserving Boys & Girls Clubs of America teens were each awarded $5,000, over half (56 percent) of whom will be first-generation college students.
In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Planet Fitness has awarded $250,000 in scholarships this year – contributing to a grand total of $900,000 in scholarships recognizing 170 youth since 2017. Planet Fitness created this scholarship program to recognize the many teens who continue to promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion in their communities, qualities that Planet Fitness and Boys & Girls Clubs of America collectively support. Scholarship recipients were selected based on multiple criteria, including personal essays, a staff recommendation and a video submission that demonstrated how each youth actively promotes these values.
To celebrate and honor the recipients, Planet Fitness, Company franchisees and Boys & Girls Clubs of America enlisted the help of Tyler Oakley, social media influencer, actor and LGBTQ+ youth activist, to share some inspirational thoughts from his own journey with the winners via a Zoom call and answer their questions.
The 50 scholarship winners selected by Planet Fitness and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are as follows:
• Ian M. (Alameda, Calif.)
• Ana G. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Brandon W. (Appleton, Wis.)
• Shannell H. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Breshae H. (Atlanta)
• Oluwaseleriayo I. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Latecyia J. (Beaufort, N.C.)
• Rafiq J. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Gabrielle R. (Berlin, Wis.)
• Matthew M. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Bryan B. (Boston, Mass.)
• Elizabeth N. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Erica D. (Boston, Mass.)
• Saron W. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Caitlyn E. (Bullhead City, Ariz.)
• Irmanie P. (Orlando, Fla.)
• Taylor C. (Chatsworth, Calif.)
• Luke L. (Pittston, Maine)
• Harper S. (Edwards, Ill.)
• Noah H. (Putney, Vt.)
• Jada S. (Fitchburg, Wis.)
• Myles J. (Rockwall, Texas)
• Angel S. (Garden Grove, Calif.)
• William K. (Salem, N.H.)
• Mary O. (Garland, Texas)
• Anna C. (Salem, N.H.)
• Saskia P. (Greenwich, Conn.)
• Cynthia M. (Salem, Ore.)
• Jamila Q. (Holland, Mich.)
• Johnson M. (San Francisco)
• Liushari G. (Holland, Mich.)
• Jacqueline V. (Houston)
• Divya M. (Jersey City, N.J.)
• K'mani M. (San Pedro, Calif.)
• Tran N. (San Francisco)
• Xander S. (San Pedro, Calif.)
• Ari A. (Kneeland Calif.)
• Craig W. (San Pedro, Calif.)
• Lauren C. (Lacey, Wash.)
• Ashley A. (Santa Ana, Calif.)
• Riley M. (Manchester, N.H.)
• Ashleigh P. (Simpsonville S.C.)
• Khloe H. (McAlester, Okla.)
• Diana R. (Torrance, Calif.)
• Khadijah D. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Ashley C. (Wake Forest, N.C.)
• Nahovy M. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Eric B. (Wallingford, Conn.)
• Jennifer G. (Milwaukee, Wis.)
• Paige M. (Warren, Ind.)
In one winning submission, Elizabeth N. from Milwaukee, Wis., expressed how her experience with bullying motivated her to address the issue in her own community and help empower her peers. She said, "Being bullied taught me how to reject the negative and embrace the positive. This is how we can impact communities – by building each others' confidence in who we are and what we can do. I am committed to start the next chapter of my life being part of the change in my community. This is how I will use my service, empowering others with love and kindness for generations to come."
"It's a privilege not only to continue our scholarship program this year, but to recognize and award 50 inspiring teens who are making a positive impact on today's world," said Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness' Chief Executive Officer. "With all that youth have been through over the past few years, it's inspirational to see how these scholarship recipients have committed to themselves, their peers and their communities. As home of the Judgement Free Zone®, Planet Fitness is excited to watch these changemakers continue to lead by example and build a more welcoming tomorrow."
"We are thrilled to honor teens who are furthering our mission to provide inclusive spaces for young people to thrive and be themselves," said Jim Clark, president & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to enhancing the lives of every kid and teen that walks through our doors, and we couldn't be more excited to award these scholarships, with the support of our partners at Planet Fitness."
Since 2016, together with its franchisees, members and partners, Planet Fitness has contributed more than $7 million to support anti-bullying, pro-kindness initiatives. As part of the program, the Company has funded first-of-its-kind social-emotional skills training for Boys & Girls Clubs of America professionals and youth, which is rooted in a trauma-informed approach to acknowledge the impacts of traumatic experiences on youth behavior while providing opportunities for growth. The Company has also 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.
Learn more about Planet Fitness' efforts to positively impact the communities where people live, work and workout through PF Purpose.
Founded in 1992 in Dover, NH, Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. As of March 31, 2022, Planet Fitness had more than 16.2 million members and 2,291 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. The Company's mission is to enhance people's lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone®. More than 90% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women.
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,900 Clubs serve 4.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.
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SOURCE Planet Fitness, Inc.