Native of Boston, Massachusetts, Leslie was a gifted student-athlete ranking top 10 nationally as a sprinter.
Leslie studied Liberal Arts at the University of Maryland then followed her passion for nutrition and hospitality attending Newbury College and graduating from Johnson and Whales University in Rhode Island.
Leslie taught private cooking classes, ran a home-based catering company and worked as a baker in a gourmet food shop in order to pay her way through school. After graduation she accepted a job as the head pastry chef for a Boston based catering company.
Returning to her love of athletics, Leslie spent several years coaching the girl’s high school track and field team in Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as developing into an enthusiastic player and avid fan of tennis.
Now a devoted wife and proud mother of 3 beautiful children, Leslie’s love of sport and commitment to improving the life experiences and expanding opportunities for children has contributed to the vision of High Altitude Tennis Academy.
At home in Peru, he rises before school to practice tennis or work out. After school Marcos plays tennis for two hours followed by an hour of fitness training. Then it’s dinner, homework, sleep and the whole process starts over again. His schedule is very demanding, but Marcos will tell you that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
This is only a part of Marcos’ story. Traveling to-and-from school and the courts is on foot or by taxi. “In Peru, some of the streets have trash spread out on the road and you have to know where you are because there are dangerous parts and there is a lot of traffic. Here, (in the U.S.) everything is really far away so you must have a car so you can manage yourself, (but) everything is so clean. There is no pollution and everywhere is really safe so you don’t have to worry about your security.”
Having the desire to excel at tennis and realizing that expert training in a safe environment was not possible for him, Marcos reached out to High Altitude Tennis Academy Director, Ryan Segelke.
His first visit in 2013 was for a brief two weeks. “It was such an awesome, life-changing experience”, remembers Marcos. HAT was then able to obtain funding enabling Marcos to return to the U.S. over his school break in 2014.
The results were not anything less than incredible – for Marcos, for his family, for the coaches and entire HAT Community. “The first time I played in an indoor tournament, I could feel the rush of adrenaline.” Training at HAT is hard work, but Marcos is learned so much both on and off the court. “I love this sport and I never get tired of it. It teaches me a lot of things, especially to never give up and to fight for your goals not matter what happens because there is always a solution.”
Marcos has set his sights high – wanting to play tennis professionally. However, he is also quite practical, “My life plan is to try to get a full scholarship to one of the best universities [Division I] so that I can improve my game. When I finish university I am going to try to play on the professional tennis tour, knowing that when I finish my studies, and if something unexpected happens, I can still work.”