Scholarship Aimed at Helping Professionals Educate Youth on Healthy Behaviors
High Number of Qualified Applicants Inspires Nonprofit to Increase Funding,
Provide Education to More Aspiring Health and Fitness Professionals
San Diego CA— Overwhelming interest in the American Council on Exercise’s (ACE) Ash Hayes Scholarship, launched in September 2014, inspired the nonprofit to double its commitment to 50 scholarships to be awarded to aspiring health and fitness professionals who possess a passion for working to eliminate the childhood obesity epidemic.
The Ash Hayes Scholarship furthers the legacy of Dr. Asahel “Ash” E. Hayes by providing individuals, either currently working or aspiring to work with youth in a physical activity or health setting, all the materials they need to prepare for the ACE Certified Personal Trainer exam at no cost*. Dr. Hayes, former executive director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS), has served as a prominent member of the fitness industry for 60 years and currently sits on the ACE Board of Directors.
The application process, which drew nearly 200 submissions in just two months, required candidates to submit an essay on how becoming an ACE-Certified Professional could help them more effectively lead youth in their communities to healthier lives.
“The sheer number of applicants that responded to this call is truly indicative of the number of people willing to help children in their communities adopt a love of healthy living,” said ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. “Although we initially committed to providing only 25 scholarships, sometimes, when it comes to doing the right thing, you have to make exceptions. This was one of those times.”
Essays were judged by a panel composed of representatives from ACE; the Alliance for a Healthier Generation; a national collaborative aimed at transforming environments that can make a difference in children’s health; BOKS, an award-winning, free physical activity program aimed at getting children moving before school; and SPARK, a San Diego-based nonprofit dedicating to creating, implementing and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness.
As one applicant wrote, “When I saw this opportunity, my heart leapt with joy. … I am currently employed with the Girl Scouts but have been an uncertified trainer for our youth and varsity volleyball teams. … It would be an amazing opportunity for me to receive the Ash Hayes Scholarship so I could continue to give kids and their families in our community a lifelong love of getting out and moving.”
Another shared, “What gives me purpose every morning when I wake up is the opportunity to not only help kids, but to also help them value and enjoy physical activity and to take those attitudes into adulthood. What could possibly be a more important job than that?”
The Ash Hayes Scholarship provides a set of ACE Personal Trainer Certification study materials and aids, access to a state-of-the-art eBook, and ACE Academy Elite, an interactive video-led study experience that appeals to diverse learning styles. Applicants were chosen based on their current or future work with youth in a professional setting at schools, medical facilities, recreation departments, fitness facilities or community centers.
“In addition to providing opportunities for individuals to build or continue to build their careers with a quality, accredited certification, this program further demonstrates the role well-qualified health and fitness professionals can play in a preventive system of care,” Goudeseune said. “We look forward to seeing this program to open up again for applications next year.”
Although applications for the Ash Hayes Scholarship are currently closed for this year, organizations can learn more about sponsoring the program at www.ACEfitness.org/ash-hayes.
*Upon approval, qualified candidates are responsible for standard shipping costs.
The nonprofit American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies, and represents more than 55,000 fitness professionals, health coaches, and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals that ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the largest certifier in its space; all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the U.S. for assessing professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting research and making available science-based information and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change.
For more information, call (800) 825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.