The 13-year-old Grand Haven girl is one of the top 25 contestants in the nation for the Junior Scholastic 2013 Mapman Contest.
Participants had to use coordinates to find Mapman and create their own map, portraying different aspects of the country.
Leah’s map included a Dalmatian dog to represent the Dalmatian coast, the country’s money, its national anthem, a flower and a soccer ball.
The Lakeshore Middle School eighth-grader said she entered the contest after her social studies teacher mentioned it. Leah said it interested her because she likes to draw, but she had no idea she would receive a high place in the contest.
“I was surprised,” she said.
Leah said she didn’t realize the importance of the honor until she read about the contest in Junior Scholastic magazine.
Lakeshore Middle School teacher Sue Siebert said her student’s accomplishment is amazing because it was during the height of her school activities — swimming, Student Council, honor courses and practicing for Science Olympiad.
Leah’s parents, Deb and Stephen, said they are thrilled for their daughter to be named one of the top 25 in the country. Deb said her daughter has submitted her writings to various contests, but this is her first map-making contest.
“We’re proud of her,” the mother said. “She always tries to do her best at everything.”