Rachel was born in May of 1985 to Maryanne and Doug and has been part of the CdLS Foundation since 1999. She currently lives with a roommate in Michigan. Rachel is a force to be reckoned with for those who don’t know her story. She is someone who has never let CdLS stop her from reaching her dreams. Rachel believes she is an emblem of strength and hope, reminding others not to live in fear but in faith that they, too, can find a meaningful life.
She graduated from Ludington High School in May 0f 2004 and has five college degrees: an associate degree in general studies and one in Human Services, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marking & management. Her two master’s degrees are in Business Administration, Marketing Management & Leadership and Business Administration & Business Intelligence.
In 2007, Rachel started her career journey. Since then, she has had a plethora of experience in different fields, including housekeeping, customer service, marketing, and the food industry. Her ultimate goal is to find a business that can work with her individual needs and is full-time with benefits. Of course, any career path that she can incorporate her education and her passion for helping others is an additional bonus. There are many rules and regulations on what someone with special needs can do in the workplace. Rachel wants to show the world that higher functioning individuals living with CdLS deserve the same chances as someone who does not have a special need in many circumstances.
When Rachel’s father passed away, she learned to rely on her Uncle Billy and her roommate, Jennifer, as her support system. Her uncle stepped in to help her with her medical and government resources. At the same time, Jennifer was a friend during a hard time in Rachel’s life. Another great group of peers Rachel can rely on is the Empowerment Team members and grade school friends.
Mentally, on a day-to-day basis, Rachel’s mood fluctuates. She’s upbeat and even-keeled some days, while other days, she’s “doing screaming matches at people.” The key is being mindful and recognizing that sometimes she must remove herself from situations and take a walk or talk to someone to calm down. Rachel also sees a therapist regularly and recommends that all adults with CdLS do the same.
“My favorite saying is go with the flow and don’t stress yourself out,” she said, reminding herself, once again, that she must balance her ambition with the ever-important self-care task.