on the Hill

All in the Family

Sisters Find Comfort, Inspiration, Strength in Each Other

By Amanda Mayotte ’15

Sisters Bobby Jo Salm ’18 and Heather Mineart ’18 took the leap of higher-ed faith and landed at Mount Mercy University—together.

“The fact that we started this together and are finishing this together is more than coincidence,” Salm says. “Walking in those doors for the first time was scary; having Heather by my side gave me the courage I needed.”

The duo started at Kirkwood Community College but quickly moved on to MMU via the collaborative partnership between the two schools. Salm is a student in the traditional social work program, while Mineart is in the adult accelerated business program—both are nontraditional students with families and full-time jobs.

“I’ve had to keep in mind that I am not the only one making a sacrifice by going back to school,” Mineart says. “My husband, children, and faith have been by my side throughout this journey.”

Salm agrees. “Being a mother who works is a hard balance,” she says. “As a mother who works and goes to school, it’s more than a challenge.”

Finding comfort and strength in each other is nothing new to the sisters.

“My past has set the stage for my future in social work,” Salm says. “I can understand and relate to those who have lost loved ones, have been abused, have a chronic disease, depression; I understand and know how vital kinship care can be to families that have already lost so much.”

The future is bright, despite the past. After graduating in May 2018, Salm plans to attend the University of Iowa for her master’s degree, and Mineart hopes for acceptance into MMU’s MBA program.

“Bobby and I have truly gone through this journey hand in hand,” Mineart says. “We’ve laughed and cried throughout the years, and we have been able to see each other grow by turning our weaknesses into strengths and our threats into opportunities.” ■