Cheri Burcham is responsible for family life programming in the counties of Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie, Shelby and other parts of east central Illinois as needed. Cheri’s emphasis is on healthy lifestyles throughout the life span which include family relationships, communication, caregiving, stress management and human development including early childhood and healthy aging. Her passion is to help people to be their best selves and to promote a healthier, independent older population.
Cheri received her master’s degree in gerontology from Eastern Illinois University and joined Extension in 1998 as a Unit Assistant in family and consumer sciences, and also served in other positions including county director and currently family life educator. Prior to working for Extension, she served as a Senior Outreach Specialist, and a case manager for the Illinois Community Care Program and Adult Protective Services.
For many years, Cheri has been facilitating chronic disease self-management programs including Take Charge of Your Diabetes and Matter of Balance. She also facilitates Real Colors personality workshops and most recently Mental Health First Aid and serves as a coach for Illinois Strong Couples.
Cheri is a member of the National and Illinois Extension Associations of Consumer and Family Sciences and has received several state and national awards, including the NEAFCS Continued Excellence Award in 2016. She also serves on the Corporate Board of Care Horizon, Inc, Advisory Board of East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging and is active in several county interagency councils.
When Cheri is not engaged in Extension work, she can be found raising Monarch butterflies and spreading the word about their amazing life cycles and migration to anyone who will listen!