Linda Fondren transformed her life from poverty and disempowerment to success and came back to Vicksburg determined to make her hometown a healthier place after Mississippi was deemed the “unhealthiest state” in the nation for several consecutive years.
For her persistent efforts and the impact on her community, Linda was chosen as a Top Ten CNN Hero of the Year for 2010. She was also selected, among distinguished leaders such as First Lady Michelle Obama, as one of The Grio’s 100 History Makers in the Making. In 2017 she received a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the State of Mississippi and the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service.
Linda’s efforts caught the eye of major national media, including CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Dr. Oz and CNN. She has been featured in numerous magazines including Essence, Jet, Glamour, Woman’s World, Shape, Success and Southwest Airline’s Inflight Magazine.
In 2014 Linda published her first book to spread her message and tips to a wider audience. Shape Up Sisters is a get-healthy prescription for everyday women with jobs, families and real-life obstacles.
Linda is a public speaker whose inspirational words continue to inspire health conferences, universities, corporations, schools and special interest groups. She is a certified health coach, personal trainer, yoga instructor and owns an all-female gym called Shape Up Sisters. She is 62 years old, a mother, grandmother, married to her husband Jim for 33 years. They currently reside in Vicksburg and are active in Real Estate Development.