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In this series, alumni experts tackle tough questions about business, politics, social justice and more. They've got answers — and, now, so do you.

Chris Schwarz runs his own successful accounting firm. The St. Edward’s University graduate is vice chair for the Texas-based national nonprofit Snowball Express, which serves children who have lost a parent on active military duty. And he’s a busy husband and father of two. No doubt, his days are full  — but he has managed to make family, work and community top priorities without stretching himself too thin. Here, he tells us how he does it.

How can I strike a better balance among my family, job and community commitments?

We all have a lot going on in our lives, and the answer to balancing it all is actually pretty simple: Just make it happen. Look at your schedule, allot time for everything that’s a priority, and stick to it.

During regular business hours, I meet with clients, work on reports and audits, and take care of the details of running my own business, like IT and HR challenges. But when I get home at 6:30 or 7 p.m., I put my phone away. That’s family time. I put my kids to bed and spend time with my wife, and I try not to sacrifice that.

The spaces in between — lunch breaks, Sunday afternoons, the hours between swim lessons and dance recitals — are for my volunteer work. It’s a juggling act. But I realized pretty early on in my involvement with Snowball Express that giving a few hours of my time to make someone else’s life better was a priority for me.

The bottom line is this: When you find the things you’re passionate about — the things that grab hold of your heart — you commit to them. And your life is richer for it.

Graduate degrees from St. Edward’s University prepare you for both your career and your life. Our programs challenge and empower you to discover your full potential and apply your knowledge in ways that make a difference in your world.

Stacia Hernstrom MLA ’05 is a writer for St. Edward’s University.

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