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Sheri Randolph: To believe is to care

Sheri Randolph, executive director of Desert Manna, was born and raised in Barstow and graduated from Barstow High in 1983.
She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and received her BA and continued living in Santa Cruz until 1997 before moving back to Barstow.  
“I received my Masters in Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in 2003 and was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ in 2005,” she said. “I moved to Wisconsin in 2005 to serve a church and, when that ended, moved back to Barstow in 2008.  When I went to college after high school, I swore I’d never move back to Barstow.  It goes to show that you should never say ‘never!’”

Q: Describe a special memory you have in the High Desert.
A: In elementary school on really windy days, we would put our windbreakers up over our heads like sails and let the wind carry us around the playground.

Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: What free time? Since August 2011, I’ve been leading the worship services at the First Congregational UCC Church as our minister, Rev. Carol Ziegler, retired. So I work seven days a week between Desert Manna and church. When I’m off, I read a lot.

Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: Never ask me for directions — I always end up getting it wrong, but I feel compelled to try and help people.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: That’s an impossible question!

Q: If you could change one thing about the High Desert, what would it be?
A: A diversified economy — for example, we need more good-paying blue-collar jobs along with our unskilled occupations and the skilled occupations.  Losing Santa Fe and Yellow Freight really hurt Barstow. I think we should be courting the recycling industry — rags, e-waste, etc.

Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: JoAnn Harris. She was my English teacher in seventh and ninth grade. She was a warm and caring teacher.

Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
A: Wouldn’t it be great to be able to fly?

Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: ‘To believe is to care, to care is to do’ — from the United Church of Christ

Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Find someone who will be your mentor — who can help you step by step to achieve your goals.

Q: Tell us about the charities or causes that are close to your heart and why.
A: Obviously Desert Manna because I can’t stand to see people in our country go hungry or live on the streets (or in the desert).

Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: Receiving my Masters.

Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: “Shame,” which is an Australian film about a woman who is a lawyer on vacation in a small town that is run by the company and she fights back.

Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in the High Desert?
A: No smog.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: Meeting so many different people from all walks of life.

Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: London, England. It was just amazing to be in a city that is so ancient compared to the United States and I liked not having to struggle with a language barrier.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I’d like to go back to England and Scotland and also go to Ireland. The island of Majorca off the coast of Spain because my grandmother lived there for awhile and she always talked about it.

Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: A new facility for Desert Manna – that is big enough, accessible to people with disabilities, has an outdoor play area for kids, one level, family rooms, classrooms. And the funding to operate it.

Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Chocolate.

Who would you like to see
profiled in an upcoming Q&A?
Drop us a line at DHolland
@DesertDispatch.com.


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