Welcoming new staff for the New Year

Erin Suelmann joins the DSAGSL as Director of Programs

This holiday season, the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is gearing up to say farewell to one of our staffers and hello to a new one. We are sad to see Linda Kronmiller clean out her office as she moves on to a new journey, but so thankful to have had her guidance, leadership, expertise and passion as part of our staff – and thankful that she will continue to volunteer her time for our organization.

But, in losing Linda, we have gained someone who we know will fill her shoes nicely. Erin Suelmann comes to the DSAGSL from Denver, Co. as our new full-time Director of Programs. During her time in Denver, she served two years as Program Manager and Executive Director of the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and two master’s degrees in Public Health and Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Erin, a native St. Louisian, decided it was time to come home after 10 years of being away from friends and family – and to be close to her parents and brother Andrew, who has Down syndrome. Andrew is the reason she has the drive and passion for giving back to the community that has shown Andrew and her family love and support over the years.

“Growing up with Andrew, I was always very involved in the Down syndrome community,” Erin told us. “Through my family’s involvement with the DSAGSL, Special Olympics, Life Skills and the like, I have come to know so many remarkable individuals. I know that I am a better person because of my brother and the friends I have made through him. I also know the remarkable things individuals with Down syndrome are capable of if given the appropriate opportunities and resources… I am thrilled to be a part of such an amazing organization and cannot wait to work with all of our members and partners!”

On top of her passion and drive to help the DSAGSL benefit the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, Erin is bringing with her ideas to help us take the organization to the next level for our families. Part of her plan includes working to develop more programs to benefit adults with Down syndrome as well as individuals in a transitional period between school age and adulthood.

We’re excited to welcome Erin to the office, and she expressed the same sentiment. “Through support, education, public awareness and advocacy, The DSAGSL has an enormous impact on the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing organization and cannot wait to work with all of our members and partners!”

We know Erin will make a smooth transition and be a great fit for the DSAGSL – but we wanted to know a little more about her. So we asked some of the most burning questions we could think of to get to know her better (most importantly: what IS her favorite baked good?). Take a read and get to know Erin:

Music Mania aims to engage families to in music-related activities promoting health and wellness

Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis and Ranken Jordan team up for music therapy program

Families of individuals with Down syndrome are invited to spend a morning with Ranken Jordan – A Pediatric Specialty Hospital to participate in Music Mania on January 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Music Mania, part of Ranken Jordan’s Community Program, is a free program for individuals age 4-16 that uses music to improve health through emotional development, cognitive stimulation, motor skills and social skills.

Families attending Music Mania will enjoy a morning of creativity, music-lead games, singing, dancing and listening to music with the assistance of Ranken Jordan’s board-certified music therapist. This program is designed to stimulate learning and engagement while promoting good health and well-being in the individuals participating.  This is the first collaboration between Ranken Jordan and the DSAGSL and is sure to be a fun-filled event for all participants.

Signing up for this free program is easy – click here to see the flyer and register online.

Ranken Jordan’s Community Program offers free recreational and educational programs for children of all abilities. The facility at Ranken Jordan is an ideal place to encourage healthy development of physical, cognitive, vocational and social skills in an inclusive environment.

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is a non-profit organization that works to benefit the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families through individual and family support, education, public awareness, and advocacy. We envision a community where all people with Down syndrome can achieve their full potential.