ATLANTA, June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, announced the Aaron's "Own Your Summer" Camp Scholarship Program today which will provide 100 underserved youths from Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Tennessee with scholarships to attend overnight summer camp. Aaron's "Own Your Summer" Camp Scholarship Program was designed to provide underserved youth with an opportunity to learn the life lessons of developing confidence, team work and decision-making skills that happen during overnight summer camp experiences.
"There are many benefits that overnight summer camps provide young people with including new opportunities to learn and grow while developing the leadership skills needed to become successful, community-building adults," said Andrea Freeman, Vice President of Marketing, Aaron's, Inc. "While attending overnight summer camp, these young people will learn to make choices without the aid of their parents, helping them build self-reliance, develop active lifestyle habits that promote good health and learn pro-social behaviors. They will develop friends for life and learn to how to live cooperatively with other youths. With this scholarship program, we're providing 100 youths with an opportunity to grow these needed life skills, offering them a better outlook on life."
Research conducted by the American Camp Association (www.acacamps.org) shows that summer camps build skills that prepare campers to develop roles as successful adults. Studies show that youths learn key developmental skills at summer camp including 1) leadership, communication and participation as social skills; 2) responsibility, resourcefulness and resilience as self-respect and character building skills; and 3) caring, fairness, citizenship and trustworthiness as community living and service skills.
The following camps located in five states will each receive approximately $10,000 from Aaron's Foundation, Inc. providing 100 underserved youths an experience away from home with their peers to focus on building lifetime friendships and unplugged learning through exploring nature:
1) The Camp Grace (http://thecampgrace.com/): Located outside of Macon, Georgia, Camp Grace's 300-acre retreat has established an environment that creates dreams, changes hearts and inspires life change. Camp Grace and its partners are dedicated to transforming the lives of urban youth in their communities by working with campers year-round after attending summer camp.
2) Camp Atwater (www.campatwater.org): Serving youth for 96 years, Camp Atwater is a residential summer camp for boys and girls, ages 8-15 years, and located in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. Camp Atwater's mission is to assist in the academic and social growth and development of youth by offering a quality residential camp experience within a safe, nurturing and Afrocentric environment.
3) YMCA Camp Harrison (www.campharrison.org): YMCA Camp Harrison is a co-ed resident overnight camp for kids ages 6-16 and is located in the lush, serene North Carolina mountains, 90 miles from Charlotte. With 2,000 acres of woods, streams, and trails centered around a private lake, Camp Harrison is the perfect retreat for youths to explore nature and make new friends and in a fun, safe environment.
4) Girl Scouts Louisiana East Camps (www.gsle.org/camp): Girl Scouts Louisiana East owns and operates two summer resident camps in southeast Louisiana. Camp Marydale and Camp Whispering Pines provides adventure, self-esteem, leadership skills, friends and fun for girls entering 1st through 12th grade with activities ranging from canoeing, kayaking, swimming, horseback riding, high/low ropes, building campfires, investigating a mystery and moonlit scavenger hunts.
5) YMCA Camp Widjiwagan (www.campwidji.org): Located on 320 beautiful acres on Percy Priest Lake just outside Nashville, YMCA Camp Widjiwagan is owned and operated by the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. YMCA Camp Widjiwagan's Overnight Camp is the heart and soul of the summer camp experience where imagination comes alive. Campers participate in exciting programs focused on developing various skills of their own choosing.
Aaron's has a long legacy of giving back, a commitment that was started by founder Charlie Loudermilk and continues today through Aaron's Gives (www.AaronsGives.com) philanthropic efforts including Aaron's Foundation, Inc. and the Aaron's Community Outreach Program (ACORP). The Aaron's Foundation, Inc. mission is to commit to strengthening the communities in which Aaron's operates, with a focus on improving the life prospects of at-risk youth. Aaron's provides at-risk youth with the tools, resources and skills to achieve their goals and to become productive, contributing members of their communities.
About Aaron's, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,940 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 16,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through a federally insured bank. Aaron's was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.
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SOURCE Aaron's, Inc.