Leah Pagels was born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area. At twelve years old she left the mainstream school system to be home schooled, due to public schools inability to meet her needs. During this time she worked various babysitting jobs and whatever she could do to raise funds to buy a horse. Horseback riding was her saving grace and she rode competitively and studied natural horsemanship into her twenties. At sixteen she returned to the school system to complete high school. During her twenties she struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, eventually going into recovery and she is proud to be sober since 2009. Her history with drug and alcohol addiction as well as her struggles within the mainstream school system has driven Leah to be involved with child and youth mental health. Graduating from UBC with a BA in psychology, Leah has spent the past five years working with at risk youth. Recently she was accepted into the Master’s of Social Work program at UBC and will begin her studies this September 2014.