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Local Hero Contest: Celebrating Karen Leggett

At the end of last year, we ran a contest where members of the DC area community could submit nominations for their personal “local hero” – an ordinary person doing extraordinary things for their community. We are excited to announce the winner of that contest and the grand prize of a free Deluxe Hand Detail and free oil changes for a year, Karen Leggett. We are proud to support folks in the community like Karen and look forward to celebrating her as part of our first annual Local Hero contest!

Karen’s nominee shared with us that for years, she has worked on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities and autism. Karen is the chair of the Montgomery County Transition Work Group, a coalition of about 35 organizations and government agencies serving people with intellectual disabilities and autism. The coalition especially tries to help young people become as independent as possible and integrated into the community as they become adults.

When asked about her favorite part of giving back to the community, she said:

I am happiest when we make a connection that works – between two organizations that collaborate to provide new programs and services, between individuals or for an individual who finds new opportunities to confidently express themselves.”

Karen’s interests don’t just stop at her work with the Montgomery County Transition Work Group, though! At the center of her projects and activities is a desire to amplify the voices of people with disabilities, young people, immigrant cultures, marginalized people – those who need a megaphone.

This desire motivates not only her disability activism, but also her children’s books (Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books and Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words), her cross-cultural activities (Baltimore Luxor Alexandria Egypt Sister City Committee and Montgomery County Middle Eastern American Advisory Group) and her use of social media.

If you want to learn more about Karen’s work and get involved with the work she does, the Montgomery County Transition Work Group holds one or two resource fairs each year. This year, they are going to be hosting an in-person fair on March 26 at Montgomery College.  The fairs are a great place to learn about services and opportunities.

Write to for more information or check out the Transition Work Group on Facebook.

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