Membership Subsidy Changes Mariela Smith’s Life, Helps her Land COO Role

September 12, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Hannah Coleman Photography

Mariela Smith could hardly believe the words she was hearing.

“We’re going to subside your membership,” said Ben Davis, the Founder of Noble Clay Fitness in Atlanta, GA, a gym and registered charity that offers subsidized memberships to those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford personalized coaching and functional fitness. 

Three years ago, Smith, now 28, was overweight and unfit.

“I was in a place where when my friends wanted to go for a walk or a hike, or my brother wants to go to the mountains, I was always too tired, or I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to feel tired and I didn’t want to feel like they were waiting for me,” said Smith, whose mother is Costa Rican and father is African American. She was living in Costa Rica at the time, where she spent much of her upbringing. 

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