The Girls!

Hannah Lanier

Junior OlympianLos Angeles, CAStory & Photography by Lauri LevenfeldMakeup & Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler
Style by Izzy Be & Les Tout Petits
If it wasn’t for her adoring grandmother, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet this inspiring 9-year old…or the two inspiring women who have proceeded her (including her mom Marquita). Hannah Lanier has already done a lot in her young life, and making the Junior Olympics last year for Long Jump is just one of her many accomplishments. But it’s her family’s dedication to being creative, trying everything, and pushing for the best individually and for the world around them that has helped shape Lanier into the girl she is today. With an active commitment to a family blog, Hannah is learning new skillsets, sharing and teaching, and most importantly, having a whole lot of fun with her younger brother. Today Hannah shows that with a little hard work, the results can be amazing.
 1. Who are you? What is a favorite childhood memory?  

I’m living childhood so I’m not sure how to answer but going to the Junior Olympics last year was pretty huge. It was in Sacramento and not only was the competition fun but it was an awesome family vacation where we saw exciting things in this city, went swimming in the lake and visited Jesus Culture church where the music was amazing! I’m also having a pretty awesome summer this year! We had a family mission to make the most of summer 2017. It’s happening with family beach days, bowling, and  festivals. We went to Legoland, kids museums, have done tons of swimming at home with friends.  I shot my first commercial, had an awesome photoshoot for The Project for Girls…I’d say, we’re making the most out of it!

 

2. What are you most passionate about?

I’m super passionate about animals.  I pretty much love any and every animal ever. I’m also passionate about track, and doing my best.  I really love helping people whenever I can in big ways and small ways. Sometimes we do volunteer things as a family which is fun but sometimes it can be helpful to just be a friend to someone who looks like they might need one.

 

3. Last year, you competed in the Junior Olympics for Long Jump…how did this happen? What type of commitment did you make to earn such an  honor?

I was eight years old. I was running with a club team and found out there was something called a “post season” league.  We had no idea that the goal of post season was to go to the JO’s, I really just

wanted to keep doing what I loved. Once I joined the post season team, I started working with Coach Damien, who specialized in long jump and taught me specific techniques that improved my jump majorly right away. I was so motivated by the improvement that I committed to putting all of my energy into being the best I could be in long jump and my goal became to make it to the Junior Olympics. It meant practicing several days a week and missing out on summer play dates. There were qualifying meets I had to compete in and place in the top spots in order to keep moving forward.  It was hard work but it paid off and I won the Gold, with a personal best of 12′ 6″ in the California State Games and tied for 5th in the nation at the Junior Olympics. If I had jumped my same personal best at JO’s, I would have won the gold then too, but it was a bit of an off day. I wasn’t disappointed though because with all the hard work I put in, to end up with a medal my first year competing was awesome! The girl who did win was really sweet and jumped her personal best so I was really happy for her. In the end it was really fun and a great experience. I wouldn’t change a thing. It just gives me more to work towards.

 

4. How do you feel sports shape a person? What have you learned from competing?

Sports can shape a person to keep trying no matter what anyone thinks. Every person is remarkable and they can do anything they set their mind to. I learned first hand that if you try hard, you can do anything. You may have to put in extra work and sacrifice some fun things to get there but it all pays off, and for me it paid off big time. 

5. Your family is super creative and currently has a blog together, Love the Laniers, tell us about it and how you contribute?

Originally my mom started the blog, but then, she felt that it was something the whole family should be doing together so she stopped hers and we all started the ultimate family blog! My brother and I contribute by doing fun little videos called “What We Think” where we do reviews of things. So far we’ve done movies, toys, and fun places. Companies have asked us to do them, which is pretty cool. Our most popular video was for Black History Month. My little brother and I, are mixed. My mom is black and my dad is white so we feel it’s super important for people to know more about the awesome people who have done great things that you unfortunately don’t always learn about in school.  That video was one of my favorites!  

 

6. The blog gave you a start to acting and performing, and now you just filmed your first national commercial… how did this happen?

The Love the Laniers blog gave me a place to be on camera. It was like getting training without even realizing because it’s just me and my brother having fun.  But because my mom has done it for so long she’s always giving tips on different ways to think about what we’re doing, like a coach. With the commercial, Mommy found out about an audition where they were looking for a mixed family, so we went in for it.  All that home training totally helped because it came very natural to me.

It helped that the audition was also with my family and we booked the spot. It was a big deal for me! I got to work with a HUGELY famous person and got things really jumpstarted. I thought the whole experience was awesome and it confirmed that it’s something I want to keep doing, for sure. 

 

7. Who do you admire and why?

One person is Katherine Johnson. I learned her story from “Hidden Figures”. I saw the movie twice, I loved it so much.  She never let anything stop her. It didn’t matter what people said or what she had to go through. She changed the way the people of that time worked in space. That’s crazy!  The person I admire the most is my mom though because she’s always empowered me to do my best and I want to be like her.     

 

8. Why do you think a platform like TPFG is important for girls?

I think it’s important for girls to have a place where they can can see others that are strong, smart, and awesome just like them. The girls involved with TPFG have such amazing, inspiring stories. Learning another person’s story can make a huge impact in your life. You can get braver and stronger,  want to do better, or be moved to make a difference, all from a story that someone shares. TPFG is full of those stories. 

9. What song best describes you and why?

Rise up by Andra Day because I’m always striving to be a better person and no matter how many times I fall, I will always rise back up and keep doing my best.

10. Where do you see Hannah Lanier next year?

Next year, I plan to be back on the track crushing my goals. I hope to be farther into my acting and modeling doing more commercials and print work. I’d also like to keep taking guitar so that I can sing and write songs like my dad. I just want to keep creating and doing my best. 

 

Special thanks to Izzy Be & Les Tout Petits

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