Leigh Pennington, MPH is an experienced public health educator, consultant, and public speaker who specializes in Public Health Education Consulting and ADHD education. She is an Alumna of Marshall University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Health Science and a Master of Public Health. She is also a CHADD certified, ADHD educator and has spent much of her career working to understand Neurodivergence and how it affects our lives.
Leigh lives with her Husband Jesse and their two children, Manny and Maggie in the Village of Barboursville, West Virginia. However, she still hasn't let go of her roots, which run deep in the soil of Northeastern Kentucky where she spent the first 20 years of her life. She and her family spend much of their family time enjoying the mountains and rivers found in their Appalachian home.
Leigh created ACES Appalachia, because she is passionate about community education and advocacy, especially for the Neurodivergent community in her region. This is because Leigh is not only the mother of a child with ADHD, but she herself has struggled with the impact of ADHD all of her life. It is her goal to minimize the impact of ADHD related difficulties for people in her region that are experiencing their own ADHD struggle.
Leigh also understands first-hand the impact of poverty, chronic disease, and inequality on the Appalachian community she loves. Having spent most of her life among the hills and valleys of Appalachia, she has experienced her share of the barriers to health and happiness that exist for the people who live there. It is her hope that through advocacy, consulting, stakeholder engagement and community education, she can help the community overcome these barriers.
For these reasons, Leigh has created her blog, Appalachian ADHD, which features a mix of education, humor and personal pain in order to allow others to learn from her story. While her blog does deal heavily with her personal ADHD struggle, it is not only for those who have experienced the disorder. Anyone who is facing a personal struggle or who is dealing with the impact of their own trauma can find inspiration, empowerment, and a bit of hilarity among the lessons she offers. She makes sure to weave a little bit of Appalachia into every story, which accounts for most of the hilarity.
Whether Leigh is researching, teaching, or staring in her very own children's program, there are four pillars that govern her work. These are, Advocate, Cultivate, Educate and Support. These cornerstones are the foundation of everything that ACES Appalachia was created for. They aren't ideas as much as they are commands to remind us of the actions, we must take in order to improve the quality of life for those in our community.