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Jeff Schandevel

Board President

President, Board of Directors

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been serving on the board of directors with The Arc of Haywood for 1/3 of my life. During this time, I’ve been taught many life lessons from our special clients.

And that doesn’t include the time in my life when my Mother was a Special Education teacher early in her career. During those young teenage years I went on numerous field trips with my Mother and her students. I learned quickly how to develop relationships with those students. Becoming friends with them was remarkably easy.

When Rhonda and I married in 2002, I instantly had a family. My stepson Canie is 35 years old now. He is severely visually impaired and intellectually disabled. He has been living in one of The Arc of Haywood County’s group homes for 5 years. He loves it. His Mother and I had doubts about his new life style, but he proved us wrong. The Arc of Haywood is in my heart and soul. I’ve matured with them. I’ve been through the good times and bad, but the clients have always been happy and safe. I encourage anyone who has had that small voice in their head telling them to step out of their comfort zone and get involved with an organization similar to The Arc. It will change your life. You’ll be shown how unconditionally happy people can be. That special happiness that so many of us think is unobtainable.