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Company deepens its commitment to Judgement Free communities and supporting emotional health and wellbeing
HAMPTON, N.H., June 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, today 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 percent) 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.
To learn more about the Judgement Free Generation or find a Planet Fitness club near you, please visit PlanetFitness.com/giving-back.
About Planet Fitness
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, 2021, Planet Fitness had more than 14.1 million members and 2,146 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 95% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
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 4,700 Clubs serve 4.6 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.