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ACC Student Spotlight: Janelle Schwarting

Janelle Schwarting, ACC Student of the Year 2023-2024

Tell us about yourself.  

My name is Janelle Schwarting, I am currently studying Psychology AA, I chose ACC to begin my studies at ACC due to the prestigious Nursing program offered but fell in love with the Psychology courses and I ended up switching to Psychology AA program. I will be graduating in Fall 2024, and plan on transferring to Colorado University Boulder to achieve my BA In speech Language Pathology as a major, and Linguistics as a minor. 

What have you done on-campus at ACC? 

I am the lead peer mentor for TRIO, was the President of PTK, the Vice President of Inclusive Excellence for PTK, I am currently the SSAC representative, and I sit on the chair as Secretary for SSSC. 


I recently received the Student of the Year 2023-2024 award. 

How did you become a part of TRIO? 

I became part of TRIO since I am a First-Gen, low-income woman of color. I was lost before TRIO helped me get on my feet and helped me with where I was headed. They offered me a new start at life and with rewarding benefits that came as a huge price on my heart. I was able to meet like-minded individuals who grew up in the same circumstances in life and were here to become someone who we only see in our dreams. TRIO is my home on campus. I seek refuge there, but most of all I can be me. I was also very privileged to become the Lead Peer Mentor for the TRIO program and have been for a year and half now. 

How has the program helped you? 

I have been able to relate to those who are or have been in similar life situations, able to understand what being a First-Gen student is and what is needed to succeed, and I have found my confidence, and leadership skills from the TRIO program. 

How did you get involved in SSAC and what does your role entail? 

I applied to become the SSAC representative which the whole class body would vote on your application and interview. I wanted to make a difference in the life of ACC students and provided more input from what students want to see change here on campus. 

How did you get involved in a Day at the Capital? 

I became involved with Day at the Capital by being part of the Student Government Association as the Student State Advisory Council and sitting on the Chair committee as the Secretary. It is a great experience for someone who wants to make a change but is unsure where to begin or who to ask. 

What made you want to be a part of it? 

I first started out as wanting to bring a change in our school Café, by incorporating healthy options, and hot meals. I decided to start a survey to obtain the information needed from the students that there is a need for change, I wanted to be the voice to suggest this to the Dean of Students, and Student Life on behalf of ACC. I then was referred to apply for the position as the SSAC representative and bring this to not only the administrators here but all across CCCS to make sure that all campuses have proper nutritional foods, as well as the access to use EBT card for meal transactions.  

Tell us a bit about how the day went for you? 

I have the privilege of meeting our state legislators and senators for the state of Colorado and the CCCS board. I attended CCCS day at the capital on January 24, 2024 at 7:30am and had a light breakfast with the legislative panel that included: Senators Janet Buckner, Paul Lundeen, Jeff Bridges and Representative Shannon Bird in a small room of the Capital Building. At this time we were able to listen to the personal stories of each member and why they decided to work in the State Capital building, many relate to my story coming from a low income family, with little guidance to seeking college, but wanted to make a huge change in the world and impact those who are currently in the positions that they themselves once stood.  

What did the experience mean to you? 

I was not sure what to expect or if I should attend, questions circled my head; will your voice be heard or dismissed, will you stumble when called upon. I had to make a choice and attending the CCCS day at the capital was truly game changing as it changed my whole trajectory of what I was there to do and how I could stand up for better tuition rate, for middle aged parents to come back to school and make it affordable. As well as the access to EBT on all campuses to assist those who are unable to afford a meal on or off campus.  

What was your favorite part about the Day at the Capital? 

Was meeting Colorado State Senator Rhonda Fields, Chancellor Joe Garcia, Board Member Chair CCCS Dr. Landon Mascarenaz, and Yolana Ortega. We had lunch with them and discussed how we can make changes within the Community College System as a whole.   

Janelle truly Moves Mountains at ACC. She is well-known in the ACC community and enriches the college experience for everyone she meets. She has demonstrated exceptional academic performance, maintaining an outstanding GPA while actively engaging in TRIO and supporting her peers. 

 Janelle’s passion for learning goes beyond the classroom. She has taken on leadership roles in ACC student organizations, mentored her peers, and been a pillar in the TRIO community. Janelle has shown remarkable resilience in the face of challenges, overcoming obstacles with grace and determination. Her positive attitude and willingness to help others has left an enduring mark on TRIO and ACC. 

Janelle is an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the power of perseverance, kindness, and the pursuit of your dreams.  

~ Lisa Christiansen, Director of TRIO Student Support Services