Graduate Stories: Making it Happen & Making a Difference in the Lives of Others One Class at a Time

Giving back to the community and lifting others is what drives ACC fall 2021 graduate Devota Swenson.

After leaving college in her 20s, Devota made the decision to return by enrolling at ACC in 2015. By 2017, she had one degree in hand and a dream to keep going.

"I earned my Associate Degree of General Studies in Liberal Arts, and it remains one of my greatest achievements. I could not be prouder of this accomplishment. I did it one class at a time and one semester at a time. I decided I wasn't done. I wanted to continue learning through ACC's Paralegal program."

Devota juggled more classes while working a full-time job and balancing an internship at the Travis County District Attorney's office, and as she learned more she found herself wanting to do more.

"I took Immigration Law in spring 2021 and I started wondering what I could do to help with the border crisis that we have been facing. I started working with Project Vecina to volunteer my time and skills to help the border children be released from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to family members willing to sponsor them."

Devota successfully worked to get three young people reunited with family members across the country.

"What I was learning in class, I was putting to use immediately in the field. The more I understood our laws and the more I gained communication skills, the more confident I became. Thanks to ACC, I'm able to make a significant difference in the lives of children."

Devota will graduate in fall 2021 with a new degree in Paralegal Studies, and she plans to continue giving back to assist families and children in need.

"I am an example of making it happen, of making a difference in my life: professional, personal, and working for the good of the community."