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  • Kristen Herring-Asleson

Following One's Heart and Fulfilling Passion

Meet Barb Schramm, the Director of Development at the Women’s Shelter and Support Center. The shelter works with all genders who are experiencing domestic violence and has offices in Dodge, Fillmore and Olmsted counties.


The work is not pretty and it takes a special person to join in this fight.

“I get angry when I hear of people hurting other people and getting away with it," Barb said. "Personally, I experienced abuse and was appalled at the lack of consequences. As a teen, I admired Ann Landers and imagined being a counselor as an adult. I started out on the crisis line as a volunteer and eventually became an advocate for victims. I have worked for a variety of non-profits, but my heart was always in the field of domestic violence.”

At the age of 50, Barb acquired her master’s degree in management with an emphasis in fundraising. Now she is able to help people on a much broader spectrum. When it comes to fundraising, Barb is able to use her education and abilities to connect people with causes they are passionate about, which in turn, gives them a way to impact the lives of others. In fact, fundraising is what Barb enjoys the most.

The most difficult piece of her job is, according to Barb, is staying on top of all its components. “The amount of time this requires is excessive,” she said.

Still, Barb loves her job.


“I became a full-time fundraiser two years ago, and I love this career because it utilizes my natural strengths and gifts," she said. "A few years ago, I worked for an organization that focused on placing employees in roles that highlighted their natural abilities based on the ‘StrengthsFinder’ model. This is when I discovered by ability to talk to anybody, anywhere at any time and generally about anything! To me, that’s a gift.”


Making an impact is important to Barb -- “I feel that I am saving lives.”


Domestic violence impacts so many people, and Barb helps change a victim’s trajectory. Last year, 27 individuals died in Minnesota because of domestic violence. This is a statistic that continues to grow, but Barb and others like her, work to reverse it and make a difference.


“I help people at their lowest point in life and help them move forward in their journey of finding lives of peace,” Barb said.


I am in awe of this woman and the profession she chose out of her passion to help others.

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