When Leah was in Middle School at School of the Incarnation in Gambrills, she was well known and respected as a leader in the community.
She distinguished herself among students and staff as someone who led by example and was willing to stand up for her own values and for other students.
While in middle school, Leah suffered three concussions while playing volleyball, which caused long-term pain and headaches, prohibited her from playing for a season, and ultimately required neurosurgery. Dealing with the physical and emotional pain that accompanied these circumstances would have been good reason for any teenager to feel sorry for themselves, but Leah continued to come to school with a smile on her face, always brightening everyone’s day. Something that will always stand out to Leah’s advisor, Laura Pajerowski, “is how she greeted any visitors to our school. As the admissions coordinator, I brought prospective families through the building several times a week. Without fail, Leah would approach the group if she saw us in the hallway, extend her hand for a handshake and say, “Hi! My name is Leah. Welcome to our school! Are there any questions I can answer for you?”
Her commitment to being a community leader earned Leah the Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson Legacy Scholarship, which is given to a single student at the end of 7th grade. She also was selected as an “A Better Chance Scholar ” to attend the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C. for high school, where she has already earned a spot on the varsity volleyball team in her freshman year.
Leah has, according to Sue Toth, the nurse at the School of the Incarnation, “a compassionate nature and speaks out about bullying and racial discrimination in a respectful, insightful way that encourages dialog rather than conflict.”
At her 8th grade graduation, Leah delivered an address to her fellow graduates on the qualities of leadership and how young adults can be leaders among their peers. She said “Leadership is taking initiative to do what is right and guiding others to make positive choices.” It’s what Leah does, and it’s inspiring others to be the best they can be as well.