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How Holly Del Rosso uses fitness to help low-income teens

GirlFit in action. (Photo: Holly Del Rosso)
Holly Del Rosso
GirlFit in action. (Photo: Holly Del Rosso)

In New York, popular personal trainer and boot camp instructor Holly Del Rosso volunteered with Reading Partners to help Harlem teens improve their reading skills.

And when she moved to Los Angeles last January, she wanted to find a new way to give back—this time tapping the fitness skills she’d become known for. “I thought, ‘I’m going to do what I’m really good at,'” she says.

A year later, through her after-school program, GirlFit, she’s helped 37 teenagers from low-income neighborhoods in LA learn healthy habits and build body confidence.

(Photo: Holly Del Rosso)

“My goal in the program is to inspire, educate, and transform their lives so that they can be successful far beyond their high school years,” she says. “I’ve seen grades improve, weight loss, diabetes controlled, and tons of smiles!”

To do this, Del Rosso meets with the girls, who are between the ages of 13 and 18, for one-hour sessions. She spends 15 minutes educating them on nutrition (or on related topics like goal-setting and confidence) and then 45 minutes getting them moving.

She was also able to get Reebok to donate new sneakers for the girls, and recently, she created a workout jewelery line for Momentum Jewelry, featuring inspirational sayings like “be your own kind of beautiful,” which she gave to the girls as a reminder to stay motivated even in moments when she isn’t making them sweat.

“My girls in my after-school program are seeing amazing results and focusing on the positive aspects of their lives, increasing their confidence in themselves as a result,” she says. And what’s more inspiring than that? —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, visit the GirlFit website or