Kayla, a 9-year-old Level 7 gymnast at New England Sports Academy in Westwood, Mass., recently was named to the TOPs National Team and was identified as a gymnast with the ability to excel in the sport. Despite her success in gymnastics, Kayla has struggled outside the gym. Kayla’s mother, a single parent, passed away from pneumonia in 2004, just a few months after Kayla began gymnastics. Kayla and her older sister moved in with their grandparents, who chose to keep Kayla in gymnastics for the stability it provided her.
With the help of her gym family, Kayla is finally beginning to come out of her shell. Because of the strong family environment and support that gymnastics provides, Kayla has changed from a quiet, sad child into a happy, bubbly girl who has a real passion for life and her sport.