How would you describe Region G SOAR athlete and IL ABLE account owner, Hannah Baker? Likely, it would be brave and goal oriented.

Hannah, a multi-sport Special Olympics Illinois athlete, has competed in bowling, bocce, basketball skills, track and field, and powerlifting. She also has the courage to go toward her dream of becoming a singer. The savings in her IL ABLE account may help her build that future.

She has already made significant strides. Hannah loves to sing. In fact, she has sung the National Anthem in at least six Special Olympics Illinois events, including regional track and field and regional bowling events. “It’s not easy to get up in front of people and sing,” said her mom, Mary Ann.

Hannah is also ambitious toward her all-time favorite sport: powerlifting. “We didn’t expect that Hannah would be so interested in powerlifting,” said Mary Ann, “but it has turned out to be one of her greatest strengths.”

No pun intended.

“She is so passionate about powerlifting that she attends lifting sessions three times per week at Bloomington Barbell to stay strong. That is how Special Olympics Illinois has impacted Hannah – by introducing her to new activities that she can sink her teeth into,” said Mary Ann.

Hannah’s ambition has paid off, as she will

compete in powerlifting deadlift and bench press at her eighth Summer Games in Bloomington-Normal.

Hannah’s IL ABLE Account can help her to continue her goals. After graduating in 2017, from Olympia High School, Hannah, with the help of her mom, opened her IL ABLE account.  “I want to continue to stay active and healthy,” Hannah said. This savings in her IL ABLE account can be used for Qualified Disability Expenses, such as health and wellness while preserving benefits such as SSI and Medicaid.

IL ABLE accounts help individuals with

disabilities and their family members achieve greater financial independence. You can learn more about IL ABLE here.

Families of Special Olympics Illinois athletes are encouraged to attend the Families Tailgate Picnic at Summer Games. An IL ABLE resource table will be at the picnic, which will be held on Saturday, June 10 from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM outside of the south entrance of Illinois State University’s Horton Field House.

This weekend, join in cheering on the thousands of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and Unified partners, like Hannah, in their competition. Learn more and find the event schedule here.