Cherie SchaadDirector

    Cherie graduated from Upper Iowa University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Although Cherie’s interest in law enforcement and the judicial system led her to graduate with honors (magna cum laude), Cherie’s passion for real estate kept her in her previously chosen career path of Residential Property Management. After 15 successful years managing multi-million-dollar properties she chose to leave the industry after the birth of her youngest daughter to become a full-time mother and now parent-educator.

    Whilst living in North Carolina, Cherie saw the lack of outreach and support to parents with a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis within her local community, and to those already parenting a child with Down syndrome. Through Cherie’s leadership and proactive nature that void was filled when she co-founded Sandhills Down Syndrome Network. The success of that organization was due much in part to Cherie’s drive and ability to bring people together; people who shared a common desire to see their own children reach their full potential, academically and otherwise, and to provide hope to those early on in their journey as a parent of a child with special needs.

    A native of California, Cherie relocated to England as a young child where she lived for 17 years before returning back to the U.S. in 1987. Since her return she has lived in six different states and Germany twice. Cherie’s family includes her husband, Mike; two daughters aged eight and 18 (the youngest with Down syndrome and the eldest a former foster child of theirs whom they adopted); a 16-year old step-son, and a rescue dog named Oscar. Cherie has had a lifelong love of all God’s creatures, especially horses.

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    Yani Bodor, Treasurer and Director of Advocacy of 21 and ChangeEric Polins, 21 and Change Board Member