HAMPTON, N.H., June 27, 2018 – Planet Fitness, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S., today announced it has awarded 15 youth from Boys & Girls Clubs across the country with $5,000 individual scholarships. Unlike most scholarships, 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® philanthropic initiative, which aims to prevent bullying and promote kindness everywhere. Ceremonies honoring the scholarship recipients were held at local Boys & Girls Clubs.
Based on the results of a national study* commissioned by Planet Fitness, 47 percent of parents in America confirm that one of their greatest fears is their child being bullied, with 24 percent admitting their child has been a victim of bullying already. More so, 76 percent of Americans believe that society is simply not doing enough to address this bullying epidemic, with nearly half (47 percent) believing that bullying is more rampant today than when they were in school.
To help reverse this trend and reduce bullying for all youth, Planet Fitness set up this scholarship to recognize teens who have promoted kindness, acceptance and inclusion in their communities, qualities that Planet Fitness and its charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, strongly support. Applications were evaluated using the following criteria: demonstrated the values of kindness, acceptance, respect and tolerance; submitted a personal video; and provided information about extracurricular activities, career and educational aspirations, and academic performance.
Since 2016, Planet Fitness and its franchisees have donated more than $3 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 at Boys & Girls Clubs.
The 15 deserving scholarship winners selected by Planet Fitness and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are as follows:
Olivia Kliner (Little Chute, WI)
Brassant Richardson (San Antonio, TX)
Esmeralda Segura (Palm Springs, CA)
Tatiana Aguilar (Charlotte, NC)
Zion Ward (Portland, OR)
Kyla Brown (Theodore, AL)
Jasmine Cledanor (Naples, FL)
Fernanda Alcantara (Rogers, AR)
Abria Franklin (Holland, MI)
Jazmin Martinez (Holland, MI)
Rowall Vasquez (Canoga Park, CA)
Rickey Boyd (Evansville, IN)
Tatiana Almonacy (Providence, RI)
Carolina Velis (Paterson, NJ)
Tyler Zangaglia (Sammamish, WA)
In the winning submission from Tatiana Aguilar from Charlotte, N.C., the scholarship recipient shared her hopes for everyone to feel accepted and included by others. Aguilar shared, “It is an absolute honor to be recognized and I am more inspired than ever to make a difference in my community and everyone beyond who I can impact. One message I want to help spread is that when we celebrate differences instead of isolating them, we can make the world a better place.”
“Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free Generation initiative is designed to empower today’s youth to shape a kinder world where everyone feels accepted and like they belong,” said Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness’ Chief Executive Officer. “As a father myself, I’ve always been sensitive to the impact kids can have on each other – both positive and negative – and imagine most parents would do anything to foster a better environment for their children’s growth. Empowering youth who are committed to making a meaningful difference in their communities is extremely important to our brand, and this scholarship program is Planet Fitness’ way of recognizing young people who embody our core values of being judgement free and inclusive.”
“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.
To learn more about the Judgement Free Generation or find a Planet Fitness club near you, please visit PlanetFitness.com/giving-back.