Erin Schneider
Erin Schneider

Age 31 | Vice president of operations, Censeo Solutions Inc.

Life has been busy for Erin Schneider.

Schneider is a third-year law student at Drake University, which includes helping clients and representing them in court. That, for some, could be a full-time job.

In November, she also started as the vice president of operations at Censeo Solutions Inc., a small company that focuses on helping nonprofit organizations apply for grants and improve their programs, and also provides a wide range of other services.

Why take a job instead of focusing strictly on law school?

For one thing, she has worked closely with Censeo President Jennifer Farley over the years, and for another “it couldn’t be a better marriage of everything I have done,” Schneider said.

Her past includes having worked as the executive director of Everybody Wins! Iowa and as a legal intern for Iowa Legal Aid; she still volunteers with both organizations and foresees Censeo working with them, too. She also has worked with Sen. Tom Harkin and volunteered for President Barack Obama’s campaign.

Schneider decided to go to law school because she felt that oftentimes people need a good attorney as much as they need a mentor.

She knows her work at Censeo wouldn’t necessarily require a law degree, but it helps. Schneider also hopes to use her degree, either through Censeo or independently of Censeo, to represent people in court – especially in the areas of youth policy and education policy.

Outside of school, work and other volunteering opportunities, Schneider still volunteers with her sorority, Sigma Kappa.

For fun, when she actually has free time, Schneider enjoys running and biking, and loves all things Des Moines. She’s even an adviser for the Beaverdale Farm Fest, a farmers market event set to launch its first season in June.

Five reasons she’s a 40:

• Was hired as vice president of operations for Censeo Solutions Inc. while finishing up work toward a law degree.

• Former executive director of Everybody Wins! Iowa, where she increased the number of students served by the program by 56 percent.

• She also increased the number of volunteers at Everybody Wins by 72 percent.

• Called “an exceptional student” by a law professor at Drake University.

• Has an extensive list of public service endeavors.

Fun Fact:

Schneider is a supporter of everything Des Moines has to offer, including the festivals, sports teams and any other big events. Her favorite thing to do in the city is a tie between the 80/35 music festival, which she hasn’t missed yet, and Winefest Des Moines.