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Student trustee puts…

Palo Alto College student Alicia Moreno says service is in her blood. Having been selected as the 2017-2018 Student Trustee, Moreno says she’s looking forward to serving fellow students across all of the Alamo Colleges District campuses.

Student trustee puts service first

From a career in the military to starting a nonprofit organization for veterans, being a daughter, wife, and mother to going back to college and becoming avidly involved on campus, Palo Alto College student Alicia Moreno says service is in her blood. Now, having been selected as the 2017-2018 Student Trustee, Moreno says she’s looking forward to serving fellow students across all of the colleges within the Alamo Colleges District.

“I’ve applied my passion for service to what I can offer here. As a trustee, it’s advocating for students,” said Moreno.

Moreno grew up dancing and dreamed of being a prima ballerina as an adult. She toured professionally as a teenager, but realized she wanted to find a different career. Although she has always loved reading, Moreno wasn’t interested in school and never considered going to college. She didn’t have marketable skills to get a job, so she joined the Army when she was 18. That’s where Moreno met her husband, and she decided to leave her career in the military while they established their family. Seven children and 13 years later, Moreno missed the service aspect of the military and reenlisted at age 38.

“A 38-year-old in basic training is no joke,” said Moreno, adding that she used her age as a way to push her fellow recruits to work harder. “Maybe I use that a little bit here [at Palo Alto College] too. If I can do this, you can do this. This should be easy for you – this is a struggle for me.”

Moreno is pursuing an associate degree in veterinary technology and plans to transfer to a local university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. She never imagined that she would attend college, but her experiences at Palo Alto College have influenced her in ways she never imagined.

Many of those experience have come through her involvement in various campus clubs. As the president of the Honors Legacy Club, which is made up of students enrolled in the inaugural Honors Program, Moreno has gotten involved in community service and service learning in San Antonio and New Orleans. By joining the Phi Theta Kappa honors society, Moreno has enjoyed fellowship and scholarship with her peers. She is also the executive officer of student life in the Palo Alto College Student Government Association.

“You never should be all of one thing. I’m a mom, and that’s a super important part of my life. But I’m also a daughter, and a wife, and a student, and a friend. Giving time to each of those things makes you better as a whole person. Being involved in student life on campus gives you a better awareness of your whole world. It gives you a better vision,” said Moreno.

In her regular classroom experience, Moreno has befriended students as young as 15 who are attending the College through the Early College High School program. The meaningful conversations she has had in the classroom have helped expand the types of conversations she has with her own children. In all areas of life, Moreno says that staying organized and not getting distracted with technology is important to investing in the people around you. That’s what has made her college experience so impactful.

“Being in a scholastic, academic environment is refreshing,” said Moreno. “My professors and my fellow students have really forced me to challenge what I know.”

As the student trustee, Moreno will serve as a non-voting student liaison to the board and the chancellor, representing students' interests at board meetings and other district meetings. Her diverse experiences should play an important role in helping to relay important issues or concerns.

“Another thing that being in school and [participating in] service learning opportunities have taught me is perspective,” said Moreno. “You get involved in student life, and you’re exposed to more diverse people of different ages and different backgrounds. You start realizing the lives that you can touch and the things that you can do and that you matter. The things you do every day really matter.”