Today, Ms. Tiffany Simms works as a United States Postal Service employee, but two decades ago she was training to go to the Olympics with the United States Weightlifting Team.

“I started going to Lift For Life Gym when I was seven because my older brothers were going there,” said Ms. Simms. “I used to just play around, but then my brothers didn’t want to be dragging their little sister around and watching me all the time. So they told me that if I went to the gym with them, then I had to lift weights. That’s how I got started with weightlifting.”

During her time at the Gym, Tiffany traveled everywhere, from California to North Carolina, excelling in national and international weightlifting competitions. When she was about to turn 17, Tiffany was recruited to train with the United States Weightlifting Team. However, her athletic journey was cut short when she began to face some serious personal issues in her life.

“I’m grateful that LFL Gym was able to keep me out of trouble when I was growing up,” said Ms. Simms, “but eventually, some of that trouble found me and kept me from going to the Olympics. However, I see it as a blessing, because soon after that, I had my first son.”

Today, two of Ms. Simms’ sons attend Lift For Life Academy. Charles is in seventh grade and Ramondre is in sixth grade. She had tried out a few other schools that her sons didn’t like. She was tentative to come back to LFLA because she felt like she let people down with her weightlifting career. However, when she showed up with her sons, she got a very different response.

“They immediately smiled and hugged me like a sister,” Tiffany remarked. “This organization isn’t just providing you with services. They immediately become a part of your family. I veered off from my hard work at the gym when I had my sons, but now, they’re back in this family environment with Marshall Cohen, who I’ve known since I was a young girl. It feels like family. There are father figures, friends, extra support… everything a family provides.”