About Me

Once upon a time, a little girl dreamed of entertaining audiences on screen. The dream was a bust. So the little girl decided to write her own stories, complete with commercials and fashion designs. The ideas didn’t make it past her scrapbook but she kept writing, and as a teenager, while serving in student government she wrote a teeny-weeny column in her church’s newsletter. When she arrived at college, she forgot all about creative writing for small performances on stage, and advocacy work for people and worthy projects.

Then one day, after years of work in community development, she dreamt of a place where she could tell uncommon stories about her interests, opinions, and novels, while also promoting other people and businesses doing remarkable work in the community.  She envisioned a magazine– an online journal of sorts. The dream was also a bust until finally, all the visualizations culminated into ReallyLeah.com.

Self-described as a nerdy, wordy, girly-girl, she is also a woman who’s been through a whole lot (physically, financially, mentally, and spiritually) and survived. But it wasn’t because of my power or might that she now thrives; it was by grace revealed through an unbreakable belief in the mysteries within the bible. Her purpose is to help people of all races, cultures and beliefs find their way based on the principles that saved her.

The CV…

Leah writes in many forms: a former ghost blogger for an international leadership website, a past contributor to online magazines and copywriting blogs, and the author of a customer service guide for professionals. Leah uses the pen name L.A. Taylor for certain pieces.

Before becoming a full-time writer, she was a non-profit Executive Director, Project Manager, and Health Care Compliance Administrator. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Business at the University of Florida and a Masters in Fine Arts for Creative Writing from Sanford National University.

She currently serves as a director for Rizing Starz, Inc., a non-profit aimed at bridging the gap between young adults and the special needs community; a leader for Shining Lights, a community group for Caregivers; a member of Word Weavers International; and other writing and community groups.

More importantly, Leah loves her family. She has expressed this affection, as a family caregiver for both her special needs sister, since the 1980s, and her grandmother, now deceased. She has also benefited from the love and care of her courageous mother who helped her recover from an illness that left her jobless, homeless, and helpless. Being both a caregiver and a care recipient gives L.A. not only a compelling vantage point but also accurate insight on the weighty topic of caregiving. She is passionate about sharing her findings through her love of writing, laughing, public speaking and motivating others.

Daughter, Sister, Authorpreneur, Advocate, Artist, and Friend

Email: leah@reallyleah.com

Education:

  • University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School, Executive MBA coursework
  • CEUs toward HC Certification, HIPAA Compliance (HCCS – 131), HITECH, .5 AMA PRA Cat 1 Credits  – Physician Payment Transparency.
  • Sanford National University, La Jolla, CA, Master of Fine Arts (Creative Writing)
  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
  • University of Florida, Warrington College of Business, Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, – 5 Academic scholarships
  • Ocala/Marion County Public Schools

Leadership:

  • City of Ocala Planning & Zoning Commission Vice Chair;
  • Chamber of Commerce Community Branding Committee Chair
  • United Way of Marion County Board of Directors and Vice Chair of Community Services; 
  • Take Stock in Children Advisory Board and Mentor
  • Ocala Marion County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Chair of the Small Business Council
  • City of Ocala Board of Adjustments
  • Citrus, Levy, Marion County Regional Workforce Development Board;
  • Focus on Leadership, Class IV
  • Eta Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated Anti-Basileus, Percunious Grammateus, and Fundraising Chair
  • Founding Board Member Rizing Starz Incorporated
  • Founding Board Member of Greater Ocala Community Development Corporation

Affiliations:

  • Word Weavers, International
  • Junior League of Ocala
  • Toastmasters International
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • AHIMA
  • Healthcare Care Compliance Association (HCCA)
  • National Association of Professional Organizers
  • Florida Association of Realtors
  • Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity

Accolades:

  • Ocala Magazine – Forty under 40
  • A YMCA Black Achiever
  • The 2003 Young Professional Leadership Woman of Distinction 
  • The 2003 Sorority Member of the Year
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