Roncalli grad becomes inspiration to younger students

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A graduate of Roncalli’s Life Academy is inspiring younger students. The program is for students with intellectual disabilities. Lizzie Layer was supposed to be a coach for the unified track and field team. Although COVID-19 halted the season, her schedule remains full.

“It’s a long summer and we need to do stuff,” Layer said.

Up a quick set of stirs, you’ll find a bucket list hidden under an art easel.

“A sleepover in the treehouse and go to the park,” the 22-year-old said.

it’s a glimpse into Layer’s world.

“It’s a lot of fun up here,” she said.

Lizzie brainstorms thousands of ideas in her treehouse and makes sure they come to life.

“I like to help a lot of people,” Layer said.

The 22-year-old has a lot of titles. She’s a Franklin College graduate, a teacher at St. Mark Making Memories Daycare and a coach. But she does have a favorite.

“I was prom queen,” Layer said.

Her mother Toni is beyond proud.

“A lot of people ask me when I’m around them, ‘Is she always that happy?’ And pretty much she is always that happy and always full of joy,” Layer said. “That’s her natural being and it’s so fortunate to live a life around someone like that.”

Family comes first in the Layer household. Lizzie plays basketball with her brother Evan on a daily basis.

“He was my coach for basketball season,” she said.

Basketball is one of many sports Lizzie participates in for Special Olympics.

Her life is filled with purpose and it’s one that brings light despite all of the darkness.

Layer’s resume continues to grow. She also works at the Hope Gallery in Bargersville and at the Dairy Queen in Southport. While Lizzie is focused on crossing off all the items on her bucket list, August can’t come soon enough. She’s ready to see her students.