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student profile

Charlotte Achen

Charlotte Achen

Charlotte Achen's pathway as a student at Cabrillo College has many twists and turns. Working hard over her time at Cabrillo, she had managed to overcome many challenges and become successful, both in her academic pursuits and in her growth as a student leader.

Charlotte has lived in Santa Cruz her entire life. In fact, her father's relatives were some of the original settlers of Santa Cruz in the mid 1800s.  Her ancestral origin is a European mix of at least German, Italian, English, and Spanish descent. 

In fall semester 2002, Charlotte started taking classes at Cabrillo while she was attending Delta High School. After graduating from Delta in 2005, she enrolled at Cabrillo in the fall.  As she began taking classes, she soon realized she was not prepared for the challenge of college and dropped out to begin looking for a job. Upon not finding promising work, she returned to Cabrillo and decided to take a single course. With each following semester, she slowly increased her course load with the goal of improving her literacy skills. In fall 2008, she learned about the Academy for College Excellence (ACE) program and realized that she had no real academic goals beyond taking English courses. In spring 2009, she enrolled in the ACE program to help provide her with some better direction at Cabrillo.  For her, the ACE program was a turning point. Although spending full days at school was a challenge at first, Charlotte learned many skills, such as group collaboration. The ACE program really allowed her to improve her confidence and leadership abilities as well. She gradually discovered that she had a passion and a talent for presenting in front of other people.  Since then, she has been  a full-time Cabrillo student and is majoring in Sociology. She plans to graduate in Spring 2013 and is applying to transfer to Stanford University or Evergreen State College in Washington. Ultimately, she would like to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Administration.

 In the last couple of years, Charlotte has been involved with the Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) Honor Society and the Associated Students of Cabrillo College (ASCC), Cabrillo’s Student Senate. In fall 2009, she began volunteering at AGS events, then became the V.P. of Fundraising, and in 2010, was elected AGS President. Although the commitment was challenging, it was rewarding for her to motivate other people to get involved and do their best as well. In spring 2011, she ran for and was elected President of ASCC Student Senate.  She has been very determined to ensure that the Senate is effective, that Student Senators are motivated and are actively representing the students. Recently, Charlotte, along with the Marketing & Communications Department, together began a monthly student e-Newsletter that gets emailed to all enrolled students and keeps them up-to-date with news, announcements, and events related to Cabrillo College.

Charlotte's message to all current and prospective Cabrillo students:

"If you are struggling with your classes, there are many services and people here at Cabrillo that will help guide you. If you are open to work hard and seek out these opportunities, Cabrillo will be there to ensure your success."

See links below

Get Started at Cabrillo >
ASCC Student Senate >
AGS Honor Society >
ACE Program (Academy for College Excellence) >

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Students Speak Out

What students say about Cabrillo College:


"Both the small class sizes and diverse student body have helped me decide that Cabrillo College is where I want to continue my education!"-Katie
Communication Studies


"The classes and teachers here at Cabrillo are very engaging and not afraid to tackle tough concepts!"-Santiago


"In addition to a wide range of green classes available, Cabrillo College has a variety of professors with vital real world experience."-Kyle


"I really enjoy the campus, particularly the Cabrillo Gallery. This makes it feel not just like a school, but also a nice place to spend your time."-Shawn


"Cabrillo College and the Honors Program have successfully helped prepare me for my Fall transfer to SF State. "-Casey


"Cabrillo is a great place to start. The flexibility of class schedules has allowed me to work while attending college."-Michael
Early Childhood Education


"I love the new photography lab and the various student services available here at Cabrillo!"-Rachel
Art Photography


"In addition to a great campus environment, Cabrillo College is home to an exceptional culinary program."-Anthony,
Culinary Arts & Hospitality Mngmnt


"The teachers at Cabrillo are very informed and can often help you with career opportunities in your field."-Charlotte


"I am impressed by Cabrillo College’s affordability and the learning resources available such as the Math Learning Center and the Writing Center."-Dustin


"I really enjoy the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Cabrillo."-Tori


"In addition to a wide range of green classes available, Cabrillo College has a variety of professors with vital real world experience."-Rory
Construction & Energy Management


"What I love about Cabrillo College is the central location and small class sizes!"-Milo

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