CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Penn State graduate created a fitness program that allows those with an intellectual disability, to stay fit and active.

“We’re looking to provide an inclusive community, for individuals with disabilities to learn about health and wellness and also participate in different types of group exercise classes to see the benefits of both physical activity but also socialization,” said Jacob Corey, a Co-Founder of Happy Valley Fitlink.

Happy Valley Fitlink was an idea created by Jacob Corey, a co-founder, during his senior year of college at Penn State.

Through his work with the Lifelink Program at Penn State, which allows those with disabilities at State College Area High School to take college courses at PSU, Corey says he recognized a need for a group fitness class, that catered to those with disabilities.

“It got me thinking that there is obviously a large need to do something to provide some exercise classes,” Corey continued.

“One day in class, I asked Lexi [Alexis Baublitz] who is one of my friends, ‘Hey, I’m thinking I want to do this, would you be interested in working with me on this?’ because obviously there was so much to get done for it.”

The two continued to develop the idea and enlisted the help of Dr. Jonna Belanger, a professor in the Kinesiology Department at Penn State, to officially help create Fitlink.

Fitness classes began in January of 2020, but when COVID-19 shut everything down, the fitness program was adapted to an online setting, through zoom calls.

“By having everybody on the screen, at the same time, it’s also a bit of a support system, makes you feel like things are a little bit different now that we’re online, but we’re still together working out,” said Corey.

The program has regular attendees from the LifeLink Program at Penn State, but hopes to expand their reach and help those across Centre County who are seeking to stay fit and active during these times.

“We’re having some individuals joining us from Strawberry Fields now, which is awesome, to start to reach out in that community more,” Corey said.

“We’re still trying to get out foot in the door within the community and get the word out about what Happy Valley Fitlink is, what we’re doing.”

To sign up for classes or find out more information, visit Fitlink’s website.