Yani is a passionate advocate for the Down syndrome community, particularly in the areas of healthcare and education. She is a certified IEP Advocate through the Twigs Advocate training program and a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national peer-to-peer network dedicated to protecting and enforcing the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families.
Yani brings an array of leadership and management experience, including a special capability to the organization. Born and raised in Panama City, Panama and Miami, Florida, she is a fluent Spanish speaker. Yani attended the Florida International University in Miami, Florida where she graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a Reserve Army commission as a Second Lieutenant in Military Intelligence.
Yani served on active duty for eight years beginning in South Korea, then Fort Meade, Maryland and finally at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the XVIII Airborne Corps. During her eight years of Army service, Yani received multiple awards and medals and earned her Master of Science degree in Administration from the Central Michigan University.
Following her military service, she worked for almost two years as a Human Resources Specialist at the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where she was the sole personnel manager responsible for the command’s 1,500+ active component personnel.
Since then, Yani has focused on their growing family as a mother of three, and gained personal experience and insight advocating for her oldest son and daughter. She is married to John Bodor from Pottstown, Pennsylvania.