Janelle (Vachon) Schwindt

What Education have you Taken?

I graduated from Virden Collegiate Institute in 2010. In the fall of 2010 I attended my first year at Brandon University. I have been working towards a Bachelor of Science 4-year degree, originally with a major in Geology. This semester I switched my major over to Environmental Science because it relates more to me and what I stand for.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of receiving the Governor Generals Award in 2010 at Virden Collegiate Institute, as well as being on the Honour Roll with distinction all throughout high school and receiving an award for Academic Excellence each year. I was fortunate to receive many scholarships for university, including the Brandon University Board of Governors Entrance Scholarship. In 2013 I received the Garth Davis Baker Academic Achievement Scholarship in Geology. I am very grateful for all the scholarships I have received!

I am extremely passionate about curling and hope to one day represent Canada at the Olympics. I have been curling for 12 years now, competitively since I was in Grade 9. I started by skipping my own team in high school, successfully winning zones to compete in High School Provincials in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and placing 3rd in both 2009 and 2010. I competed in Manitoba Junior Provincials three times. In 2012, as well as this year in Virden, I represented Westman on a ladies team in the Scott Tournament of Hearts Provincials. I dedicate a huge amount of time to curling including on average four nights a week at the rink and participating in bonspiels many weekends. Much of my volunteer work is focused on giving back to the sport of curling, whether assisting junior curlers, or serving on events committees.

Tell me about yourself/your background/ your history

I grew up on a cattle/grain farm about fifteen minutes south of Oak Lake, Manitoba. I am the oldest child in my family of four with two brothers and a sister.  Growing up on a farm I learnt the value of hard work and dedication. I spent many hours working in the field, feeding cattle, and it has made me who I am today. More recently, in July of 2012, I made one of the best and most important decisions of my life and married my best friend.

As soon as I got my license I began working. I started out working at the local ice cream shop and golf course in Oak Lake. Since graduating I have been working at the Brandon Agricultural Research Centre in a pathology lab. The people I get the opportunity to work with there are excellent, and it has been such a great learning experience.

I also have a keen interest in motorcycles. In the summer of 2011 I bought my first motorcycle, a Honda CX500, but quickly upgraded to my Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic which is my daily driver in the summer. There’s nothing I enjoy more on a hot summer day than to hop on my motorcycle and ride alongside my husband down the highway! I also enjoy working on motorcycles, and I am currently working on restoring/customizing an old KZ440.

In the winter I am always busy curling. My interest in the sport came from my Dad who taught me to curl at the Oak Lake curling club. Ever since then I have loved the game.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have always had a strong interest in nature, more specifically the environment and the benefits we as humans gain from it including food, water and natural medicine. This recently inspired me to work towards a degree where I can gain a job and work to actively protect our environment.

What is your philosophy in life?

There are two quotes that really speak to my philosophy:

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” Thomas Edison, and “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”  Babe Ruth.

Anything that I have ever achieved did not come easily; it took a lot of hard work and tons of dedication and time. I believe that is the key to success and moving forward. I like to put 110% of myself into everything that I do, even though sometimes things don’t work out right away.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself living with my husband on a quiet acreage in a self-sustainable home. I will be working either in conservation or environmental research. I will also still be curling competitively and continue to volunteer and promote/inspire young curlers.

Nominator’s Comments

Janelle is a top student who made the leap from Geology to Environmental Science. She is very worthy of recognition, balancing strong academics with keen dedication to her chosen sport of curling.