Cindy Willett Sherwood, Founder and Executive Director


Writer. Editor. Teacher. Cindy formed The Write Direction to use her skills to give students of limited means that extra edge in college admissions. She provides students the tools they need to tackle admissions essays and excel at interviews. Cindy leads our workshops and does counseling with individual students. Here's more about her qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

  • Decades of journalism experience as a newspaper reporter and television producer and as the news director of a Virginia television station.

  • Writing professor at California State University, Sacramento.

  • Owner of an editorial services business, www.secondsetofeyes.com.

  • Long-time alumna interviewer of students applying to Dartmouth College. (Note that Cindy will not interview any student who is working with The Write Direction.)

  • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to a teenage girl in foster care (2016-2019). Cindy was sworn in by an Orange County judge after she underwent an extensive background check and Live Scan fingerprinting.

Board Members

Leanne Strommen


Leanne is a Presbyterian pastor and a Southern California native, raised in south Orange County. She is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and has a Master's in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Leanne has worked in Christian education and community outreach at several Orange County churches,  and is currently serving as the interim pastor at Community Presbyterian Church in San Juan Capistrano. She has a son who is working full-time.

Josephine Walberg


Josephine is a teacher with expertise in working with children and young adults with special needs. Originally from England, in 2006 she and her family moved to Orange County, where she and her husband own a business that develops interactive video systems for passenger planes. Josephine also volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a foster child in Orange County. She has three sons: one at UC Irvine and two who are working full-time.

Lilian Muff


Lilian has an extensive business background, which she developed while working overseas in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, South Korea, and Indonesia. Her career included many years at Nike, and her specialties include project management, supply chain operations, and international relocations. Lilian now works as a Realtor in Orange County. She has three daughters: one at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and two in high school.

David V. Sherwood, CPA


As a Certified Public Accountant with more than 40 years of professional experience, Dave has provided accounting, auditing, and consulting services to a diverse group of private and publicly traded clients. He is currently working as the chief financial officer for a private service/retail company in Norfolk, Virginia. During his career in public accounting, he worked extensively with nonprofit organizations. Dave and Cindy have a daughter who is a Sullivan Scholar at Seattle University.

Jan Zieser


Jan is the co-founder of SpeakWrite, a Colorado company that helps high school students applying to college with essay writing and interviewing skills. Jan is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked at television stations in Texas, North Carolina, California, and Colorado. She served as the executive producer of community affairs for a Denver television station, where she collaborated with many nonprofit organizations and served on several boards. Jan has a son at Georgetown University and a son who is working after recently graduating from the University of Notre Dame.

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©2020 by The Write Direction

a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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