Cherie River


Cherie River

Cherie River

Major: Communication Disorders
Founder,  River Pediatric Therapies

Cherie River ’94 has provided faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor for almost two decades as a private practice therapist. At the River Pediatric Therapies offices she founded, clients are greeted with a sign stating the mission: “We serve God by helping children surpass what others said they would never achieve. Each step counts.”

As an undergraduate at Geneva, Cherie frequently visited Harrison, her nephew who was born with Down syndrome, and observed his pediatric speech-language therapy sessions. She was thrilled by how this early intervention was helping to change his life. She says this is when God changed her life as well.  “I felt like God called me to do it. I was seeing how well Harrison was doing. I rushed into Geneva to see if speech-language pathology was offered as a course of study.” 

Cherie eventually graduated from Geneva College in 1994 as magna cum laude and Alpha Chi Honor Society member with a B.A. in Speech Language Pathology (now Communication Disorders) and Theatre minor. She went on to earn a M.S. from IUP in 1998 with a PA Teaching Certificate.

Cherie was the first in her family to attend college. Her time with Harrison and at Geneva College gave her the edge she needed. “I already had experience dealing with kids in real therapy; this gave me the opportunity to research on my own outside of class on trends and educational topics in the field.” The focused instruction and foundation that Geneva provided yielded strong results.

Today, her offices offer home-based, school-based and outpatient therapies employing 50 staff members. Children and adults from Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties rely on Cherie’s therapists and staff for speech and language, physical, occupational, aqua and social group therapies.

Cherie starts each day by praying for her patients and staff. “People know I may stop in the middle of staff meetings and we pray together,” Cherie explains. “That is how I am. People know what I believe. They know that’s my faith.” God remains the foundation and core for River Pediatric Therapies.