Lindsay Cherry is a 'Remarkable Woman'

There’s no doubt Lindsay Cherry is a "Remarkable Woman."

And now she can add that title officially to her already long resume.

The vice principal of West Ottawa High School, counselor, and co-founder of I AM Academy was named the "Remarkable Woman of West Michigan" as part of NexStar Media Group’s Remarkable Women contest earlier this year.

As part of her work at I AM Academy, Cherry also helps head up the Juneteenth Freedom Festival, Martin Luther King Day celebrations, a teen summit, and more.

Cherry’s colleague at West Ottawa High School Ann Mireles nominated her.

“I just knew Lindsay and her organization are completely deserving of this,” Mireles told eightWest, the news magazine program produced by NexStar’s Grand Rapids-based Wood TV 8. “Lindsay is passionate about the work that she is doing. She has just an endless heart for others. She really puts other people first.”

West Ottawa High School Vice Principal and I AM Academy co-founder Lindsay Cherry was named one of 112 Remarkable Women from across the country.

Lindsay Cherry, right, poses with last year's Remarkable Woman award winner, Mona Highline.

10,000 nominations

Cherry, 38, started I AM Academy with her husband, Henry, to empower Black and multi-racial youth to see themselves reflected in leaders and to achieve their full potential. The mentorship and academic support program is now in several West Michigan schools with dedicated life coaches, book studies, college visits, engagement with local leaders, STEM activities, and just trying new things and enjoying being a kid, Cherry says.

NexGen Media Group outlets received 10,000 nominations for its Remarkable Women contest.

Cherry was named the Remarkable Woman of West Michigan and was one of the 112 Remarkable Women selected from across the country. She received $1,000 toward her nonprofit and was flown to Los Angeles for a two day celebration and awards ceremony.

“They took care of everything, they spoiled us, there were lots and lots of surprises,” Cherry says.

The women toured L.A. on a double decker bus, visited Grauman's Chinese Theater, and attended a taping of the Jennifer Hudson Show where the top five finalists were interviewed (to be broadcast in May). Although she was not named one of the top five, the awards presentation moved Cherry.


Every woman chosen for that top 112 is doing life-changing work, Cherry says, in areas from foster care to family court to cancer to educational disparities. 

“It’s a beautiful experience to meet so many women who have taken a passion of theirs and created change in their communities,” she says. “I feel as those I made some really great, deep friendships.”

And she hopes the award will help further expose the work of I Am Academy to the community.

“We definitely want to get into more schools, but that will take funding and additional work from people in the community to happen,” she says. “The need is so exponential that it’s hard to do it all without the support of the community around the school.”

If there’s one thing that unites Cherry and her fellow Remarkable Women, it’s passion.

“There’s so many unique and creative ways of solving problems. I feel as though a common thread (among the women) is just the passion and the desire to create change,” Cherry says. “We see a problem, so we’re going to go fix it.”

Photos are courtesy of Lindsay Cherry
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