From the president

Cherie Long is an undergraduate student in the Social Work Major at Saginaw Valley State University. Cherie has broad expertise and service with youth and families in the Great Lakes Bay Region, and actively volunteers for the CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) Council and the Sexual Assault Center in Saginaw, Michigan. Cherie is also an entrepreneur whose organization, Heart of the City Development Center, provides opportunities and education to individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. Her nonprofit was chosen by Governor Whitmer as representative of black leadership and difference making in Michigan. Cherie’s goals of providing a positive influence in the Saginaw Community are an example of community engagement and giving back. She is a role model for others who wish to make a difference in their communities.

George Grant Jr.


Saginaw Valley State University


Personal Statement

In order to advocate for my now 24-year-old daughter, who was born with an intellectual and developmental disability, I enrolled in the social work program at Saginaw Valley State University. I also began to recognize a need in our community for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities to have access to non-inclusive services. For this reason, I founded the non-profit Heart of the City Development Center. The mission of this program is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for individuals with developmental disabilities while their parents are at work, so that they can continue to improve their essential social schools and continue their education. My mission is to foster an environment that promotes equality and inclusion, and to show the people in my community that accumulating wealth is not nearly as important as investing in the people who make up your community. If we take care of each individual who makes up our society, we will all continue to thrive equally.

Cherie Long

Social Work

Saginaw Valley State University