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Anne-Shirley Schreiner: Beyond beauty

Anne-Shirley Schreiner, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Barstow, was born in September 1991 in Apple Valley, but Barstow has always been her home. She grew up in the same house her entire life, and has many fond memories.
During her childhood, she danced, tried various childhood sports, participated in gymnastics, cheer, modeling, playing piano and clarinet and tons of pageants.
“Most importantly I grew up in the First Baptist Church being involved in everything they had from Sunday School, children’s choir, church musicals, youth group/choir, and loved our yearly mission trips where we made Barstow proud sharing our love of God through example, teaching, and performing as we went on tour.”
She also served as a Barstow Police Explorer and making the rank of sergeant.  
Schreiner competed in the Miss Barstow Pageant beginning at the age of 3, but I did not win a title until she was 7 and was crowned Junior Miss Barstow.  At the age of 12, she won Pre-Teen Miss Barstow and at 16 she won Teen Miss Barstow.
She said  loved the huge pageants that had modeling as well as talent, she said. For a while she performed all over Southern California with Radio Disney as well as Star Quest from talent competitions she won down the hill.
Her pageant career ended when at the age of 19 when she was crowned Miss Barstow 2011.
“The opportunity to serve as Miss Barstow was incredible and was an experience I will always treasure,” she said. “It allowed me to serve as an unofficial ambassador for my community and meet many wonderful people.  More importantly, it allowed me to serve as a role model for young girls, just as many previous Miss Barstow winners were my role models. I was proud to able to be the role model my parents raised me to be.”
Throughout her life, she worked alongside her parents and others to build and maintain the Boys & Girls Club of Barstow, where she is now the Executive Director/CPO for the Club.
“The Boys & Girls Club for me is not just a place or an organization, but an extension of my family,” she said. “It has been part of my life since I was four and it will continue to be part of my life for years to come.”
She graduated Barstow High School June 2009 and in May 2011 graduated from Barstow Community College with an Associates Degree in Social Science. Currently she is one class away from a second Associates in Administration of Justice. She plans to attend Western Governors University to obtain a Bachelors degree in Human Resources.
Q: Describe a special memory you have in the High Desert.
A: I’ve had so many great memories; Barstow has been an incredible place to grow up. I’d like to share two memories.
The first one is the most recent. On Oct. 6, 2012, I married the man of my dreams, Christopher Cole Schreiner. Our wedding was in the historic Harvey House and it could not have been more perfect. I really appreciate the Chamber of Commerce for their work to make sure my special day went off without a hitch, and I would encourage others to consider the Harvey House for their special events.
The second memory began with tragedy. In July 2011, Chris and I purchased our first home. I was 19 and we were very proud to have been able to take this step at such a young age. But on Feb. 15, 2012, Chris called to tell me our home was on fire.
I was shocked when I arrived at my house to see flames everywhere, but there were fire trucks too. There were fire trucks, hoses, and firefighters all working to save my home and protect my neighbors. I found Chris and learned our dogs were still in the back yard, but all were safe.  
It is in those moments of tragedy that we see why Barstow is so great. The people I would expect, like family and close friends, came out to help, but there were also casual acquaintances and strangers who offered help and support too. The fire fighters did a heroic job that night, and I will always appreciate their efforts.  Everyone who came out worked hard to help us salvage what could be saved, but in the end, the house was a near total loss.
Fortunately, Chris and I were fully insured and we were able to begin the rebuilding effort quickly. On Sept. 19, 2012, a few short weeks before our wedding, we were able to move back into our home. I want to thank everyone who was there to offer love and support when it seemed like nothing would ever be right again.

Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: Free time, what’s that? I love spending time with my husband, Chris, even when he’s watching golf. I also enjoy time with our English bulldog and a Boston terrier, Gus and Milo. After living in a hotel for seven months, I have developed a new appreciation for cooking, and I’m working on improving my baking skills, but soon I will be hitting the books again working on my Bachelor’s Degree. I still love being out in the community giving back as well.

Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: I am absolutely terrified of public speaking. Most people would be surprised to hear this because I have done so much public speaking at pageants and for the Boys & Girls Club. I thoroughly enjoy talking to people one on one or in a social setting, but my nerves kick in terribly when I have to stand before a large group of people and make a presentation.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: I believe that before we can go about changing the world, we need to fix what is wrong here at home first.  Before we can truly help our global neighbors, we have to fix our economy and get our country back to work.  

Q: If you could change one thing about the High Desert, what would it be?
A: I would love to see a water park come back to the Barstow area. We had Lake Delores when I was younger and it was a great place to spend our summers.

Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
A: President Ronald Reagan, he was our 40th President, and I believe he was the greatest President of the 20th Century. We could use his leadership and inspiration today. He took over as President with an economy much like the one we are experiencing today, and helped to revive our national self-esteem. I would love to have dinner with him. Fortunately, I’ve been to his museum and library three times and each time I visit I know it is possible for us to turn our national situation around; we just need the right leader to step up.

Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: My parents have made the biggest impact on my life. They are both great, wonderful, loving parents. My mom is my role model and I am so much like her. My dad (Rich Harpole) has been a huge inspiration in my life and he is my hero. My father enlisted in the Iowa National Guard straight out of high school, a couple years later enlisted in United States Army where he became an MP. He was later recruited to the Barstow Police Department where he retired as Lieutenant in 2008. My father has taught me to never settle for ordinary and to work hard to achieve my dreams.  My mom has worked for Lockheed Martin for almost 25 years and has shown me how to balance work, home, and doing things for others that most people never see or hear about.  Like most people, my life is what it is because of what my parents did for me — and I think I’m pretty blessed.

Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
A: I have always wanted to be a singer. I love to dance and growing up I always wanted to sing and dance at the same time. Unfortunately, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket even though I grew up singing in the church.

Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: “Success is better in the face of difficulty.” — Aristotle. My dad is very much into history which is why I have such a fascination about our past.   He raised me with this quote.

Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Do not increase the deficit. Just kidding. I would tell them to open their eyes at the wonderful world around them. All too often, and I am guilty of this as well, the youth of today spend too much time on the Internet. Sometimes we get a little too involved with technology and social networking, and we lose track of the real world. I love the Internet, it is a great resource for education and work, but we spend a little too much time with technology in general. It is nice to just sit down for dinner as a family with no television and just talk. No texting at dinner.

Q: Tell us about the charities or causes that are close to your heart and why.
A: There are two main nonprofits I have always supported and will always support. The Miss Barstow Pageants and The Boys & Girls Club of Barstow.

The Miss Barstow Pageant is well known local pageant for all ages and I am proud to say that I have held a many of their titles. Kris Watson does an amazing job running the pageant, the theme is incredible every year, and the prize package for the winners is unbelievable. Teen and Miss Barstow have the opportunities to compete in other pageants and they can even win scholarships for college.

The Boys & Girls Club will forever be my charity of choice, as I said before I was there when we began the effort to open the club in Barstow. It was amazing to see so many community members come together to help the kids of the Barstow community. Since taking over the club as the Executive Director in August 2011, I have experienced so much more than I ever would have thought possible. When kids come to the Boys & Girls Club, it’s like their second home. The staff is excited to greet our kids every day. Seeing the progress our kids make in school, socially, and just watching them grow up is so incredible to witness. I think all of my staff would agree that this is a great cause. “Great Futures Start Here.” I truly believe this statement because I see the change we make every day in children’s lives.  

Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: I am proud to live in Barstow. Growing up I knew Barstow was a great place to live, but it was not until I graduated from high school and began working in this town that I realized Barstow’s true potential. I know so many wonderful people in this town. When my house burned, so many people in the community reached out to me and Chris, and it showed me just how good our community is.
Our community reaches out in so many ways; we have Holiday Meals at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Christmas, Cops and Kids that delivers toys to area kids, Relay for Life, as well as March of Dimes, and so many other events that I have been part of since I was a kid. We have so many good people working to give back and that is what makes Barstow such a wonderful hometown. I am very proud to say that I live and work in Barstow.

Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: “The Blind Side.” The movie showed me that we all have the ability to make a difference in this world.  It is just a matter of finding an opportunity and taking full advantage of it. Not enough people in our world believe they can change the world and we can. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Gandhi

Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in the High Desert?
A: Barstow is a volunteering town, we have so many events that go on and so many people give up their weekends and personal time to give back to their community whether it is through their church or for something in the community. You hear people say there is nothing to do in Barstow, but not a weekend goes by that you cannot find somewhere to volunteer your time if you are willing. Barstow is the community that comes together to give back.  Nothing makes you feel better than to do for others.

Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: The best thing about my job is seeing the smile on a child’s face. Nothing in this world can beat a child with a smile. We work every day to ensure our kids are having fun, doing homework, and growing in life. My staff and I are very dedicated to what we do, and we believe that we do have the power to change a child’s future.

Q: What book had a significant impact on you?
A: “My Sisters Keeper” was a wonderful book and it was very inspiring to me.

Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: My favorite place to visit is Tennessee. My dad’s family is from Tennessee and I absolutely love it there. Last year I was traveling across country with my parents and we stopped at a very nice RV park in Manchester, Tenn. It turned out a guy who worked there had a cousin who was married to dad’s uncle. “Small world.” I really love the country life and I think it would be great to retire in that area.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I have always wanted to go to Europe. I think it would be amazing to backpack across Europe for a few months and come back home. Just explore everything I can and try new foods and drinks. I love to learn about different cultures and their history.

Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: I’m still young, and I don’t know what that one thing is yet. I want a family and want to finish my education, but along the way, I know there will be opportunities to help shape the world around me. I want to be a person who helps to make things happen and not a person who sits on the sidelines complaining.

Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in the High Desert?
A: My favorite food is Mexican Food, but as far as my favorite place to eat, I can’t narrow it down to just one as I love Rositas, Los Domingos, and Lolas. They are so great. Chris and I just came back from our honeymoon cruise to Mexico and we were so excited to try authentic Mexican food. I was sadly disappointed in what I had and it really made me thankful for the wonderful foods I get to enjoy right here in Barstow.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: In 10 years I hope to have my Masters Degree and children. I do not exactly have a set plan for my life, but as long as Chris and I work together and walk with God, we will be just fine.

Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Chips and Salsa, the hotter the salsa the better. I truly believe I could survive the rest of my life on nothing more than chips and salsa.

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