Schroeder ‘15 advocates for foster families

While preparing for law school during her senior year at Hastings College, Anastasia Schroeder ‘15 participated in an eye-opening internship with the Sexual Assualt Sexual Abuse Center (SASA) in Hastings, Nebraska. The internship completely changed her career trajectory in her last semester of college — and she now works for Boystown advocating for foster children and parents.

“Hearing and seeing what families go through at SASA pulled on my heartstrings, and I wanted to help families find resources to better their lives,” said Schroeder, who majored in psychology.

Schroeder ’15 with signed petition from the mayor of Kearney, announcing National Adoption Day

After graduating from Hastings College, Schroeder moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to work for Beneficial Behavioral Services. Ten months later, her Boystown journey began.

Boystown was founded 103 years ago by Father Edward Flanagan and, at first, only sheltered boys. Eventually, the non-profit organization that serves children who suffer from abuse, addiction, abandonment or violence, opened its doors to both boys and girls.

Starting in the Omaha office, Schroeder worked as an in-home family services consultant for 2.5 years. She then transferred to the Kearney, Nebraska, office, where she currently resides and works as a foster family consultant.

Her day to day job with Boystown keeps her busy, as she works with the kids in foster homes and does in-person check-ins to make sure everything is running smoothly within the foster homes.

“With everything I see, my job can be emotionally draining at times, but I keep my support network close to me, and I keep my mental health in check,” she said. “I can only give so much of myself until I have nothing left to give, and I never let myself get to that point.”

Schroeder said the most fulfilling part of her job is advocating and seeing what’s best for the foster children come into fruition.

In 2018, Schroeder wrote a petition to the mayor of Kearney, to signify and acknowledge November 17 as National Adoption Day. This initiative is one of many things she has done for the betterment of her community.

Many of her Hastings College psychology courses have equipped Schroeder with the ability to keep an open mind when working and see situations from different angles.

“It’s never too late to change your career trajectory. I did in my last semester, and I’m so thankful that I wasn’t afraid to change,” she said.

By Courtney Hanson, a senior from Brookings, South Dakota, majoring in communication studies and philosophy and religion

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