By Hannah Barnes, Communication Specialist

Sports are what make Leah tick. From the time she was a young child to now, they have always been her passion.

Leah showing off her trophy from dance

Her first love was dance, which she got involved in through her foster sister. Leah immediately loved dance because of the creativity it brought her. She loves creating her own routines, knowing that each one is different. Although she stopped taking dance lessons, her passion is still alive, and she recently showcased her skills as a contestant in Hammer’s Got Talent.

As a child, Leah also started taking karate lessons. She was involved in karate until 2012, retiring after she earned her first-degree black belt. Leah felt karate was an important skill to master, because she can use it to protect herself if needed.

Even though she is no longer active in dance or karate lessons, sports remain a big part of her life. Last year, she won two gold medals in track and field at the Special Olympics. Her first involvement in the Special Olympics came in 2015 following her move-in at Hammer. After her dedication throughout the years, Leah was relieved when she won gold in her events.

She participates in several sports through the program, including track and field, basketball, softball, flag football, and hockey. Leah enjoys being involved in so many different activities because she is naturally athletic. Her two favorite sports are track and basketball because when she plays, she is constantly moving and on her feet. Although Leah loves the competition aspect of sports, she says her favorite part of being involved is making friends.

Another way Leah stays involved and makes friends is through her job at Lifetime Fitness. She is thrilled to be working at a health club, and takes advantage of the opportunities to train before and after work.

Hammer has helped Leah continue to make these friendships away from sports, and she is happy to call her apartment home. In the complex, there is a community apartment, where all from Hammer can gather and enjoy dinner together. This is one of Leah’s favorite aspects of being supported by Hammer.

With a place she is proud to call home, Leah has continued to follow her passions and is growing while doing what she loves.