The mission of the Women with Vision Council is to mentor, inspire and empower women in professional environment through education and collaboration to embrace their own vision, purpose and value. We want to inspire women to live the lives they love, igniting their passion for business and to make a positive contribution in their community.
October Speaker: Tania Schmidt-Alpers, In-House Council, Betty Griffin House
Topic: Domestic Violence: Finding the Strength to Move On
Tania was born in Montreal, Canada as an only child to a French Mother and a German Father who worked for the airlines. Tania and her family lived in Canada and then Ecuador until finally settling in Garden City, Long Island, New York.
Tania attended the University of Connecticut and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Political Science – Pre Law and German. She graduated with Honors from the Political Science Department. She then attended the University of Bridgeport School of Law (now known as Quinnipiac University School of Law) where she received her Juris Doctor degree.
In 2000, Tania received the Kolodinsky “And Justice for All” Award. In addition to individual advocacy for victims of violence, Tania has also been active in systemic advocacy through Pro Bono appellate cases resulting in the creation of new case law for survivors of domestic, sexual and dating violence throughout the State of Florida. This is truly her passion and life’s work.
Tania has also been awarded Pro Bono Awards in Flagler County from 1996-1998 and in St. Johns County in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018. Tania is a Florida Supreme Court Family and Appellate Law Mediator. She has also represented children as a Guardian ad Litem in various high conflict family law cases. Tania actively continues to volunteer at the St. Johns County Legal Aid Pro Bono Clinics. Every February, Tania teaches at The People’s Law School.
Tania is a Federal Law Enforcement Certified STAR (Small Town and Rural) Domestic Violence Instructor. She regularly presents at domestic violence conferences and trains law enforcement officers. In 2010, Tania was proud to be naturalized as a United States Citizen. In 2012, Tania was blessed to be able to adopt the light of her life, Kadance, who is in now in 9th grade.
In 2013 Tania received the President’s Pro Bono Service Award which was presented to her before the Florida Supreme Court Justices at the Florida Supreme Court. During the 2014 National Victims’ Rights Week, Attorney General Pam Bondi presented Tania with the Attorney General’s Distinguished Victim Services Award. In 2017, she was honored by Girl Scouts of Gateway Council as one of seven “Women of Distinction – Women Who Make a Difference” (St. Augustine). In December 2017 she was selected by the St. Augustine Record as one of ten “People Who Make a Difference” in the St. Augustine community. Rocket Matter recently featured Tania as one of their “Legal Freedom Fighters”. In 2018, Tania honored with an “Equal Access to Justice” Award for outstanding Pro Bono service in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.
Tania is currently serving on The Florida Bar Domestic Violence Committee and served on The Florida Bar Family Law Rules and Forms Committee from July 2017 through July 2019. Tania is also a current member of the St. Johns Family Law Advisory Group.
Tania closed her private practice to focus on her “grassroots” by taking a full-time job with Betty Griffin Center, the Domestic Violence Shelter for St. Johns County, representing victims in civil legal proceedings as well as doing community outreach and training. She hopes that this will also allow her more time to focus her “down time” on what is most important – her daughter.