Maggie Mumar

From Fashion to Early Childhood Development

By Ethan Lauren

SMC student Maggie Mumar

City: Playa del Rey
Major: Early Childhood Development
Transfer School: California State University, Long Beach
Career Goal: Teaching
Extracurriculars: Phi Theta Kappa, President’s Ambassadors

Maggie Mumar has shown throughout her time at SMC that putting yourself in new experiences can open paths that you might not have considered.

“My first year, while I was doing fashion classes, I got really involved on campus and I found myself doing research on children and education in general and I have been absorbed into that scene. I thought, ‘why am I doing fashion in the first place,’ and I’ve had to reevaluate what I wanted to do in my life. And I haven’t had any regrets changing my major since.”

Originally set to transfer early as a fashion major, it was this change that led her to enter the Early Childhood Development program on campus.

Living in Playa Vista, she attended El Segundo High School, which is where she first heard of SMC through counselors. Her parents also took a few classes at SMC when they were younger.

Though she was accepted to several universities, she instead chose to enroll at SMC because she wasn’t sure about what she wanted to do. She felt that community college would allow her to see more options before deciding on something.

Valuing Education

“I grew up in a family who put a lot of importance in finishing school. Another part is of my own ambition and goals in life and where I want to be and how I see myself. That’s the other part of myself pushing me forward.”

Born and raised in the Philippines, Maggie’s family, including her identical twin sister, came to the United States when she was twelve years old because her mother wanted a better education for her children.

“My move here really brought in the idea that other people see the world differently. Too many sad things are in the world — you have to bring in some happiness. I always see myself as a ray of sunshine and if I can give a bit of sunshine to people who don’t get some, I’d like to share my sun.”

Making the Most Out of a Day

Maggie has been active in the honor society Phi Theta Kappa since her first semester. She later became the executive vice president for a full year and she says the most important parts of the club were the like-minded people she met and getting involved on campus to make events happen.

She also serves as a President’s Ambassador, which are official student representatives for the college.

Working at a local coffee shop since she started her time at SMC, she learned to manage her time between work and classes while also trying to stay active in extracurriculars.

A Human Element in Life

“The biggest thing I struggled with the most was what I wanted to do and SMC does a good job with their programs and departments, which have a really strong foundation.”

After two years with being involved in the ECE department, she believes the department really connects students and helps tailor their specific interest within the field to the education they’re receiving.

“I found myself more interested in people, specifically kids because they can learn a lot and they can adapt and change as they go without judgment because when you’re older, it’s harder to adapt because we learn already what is socially accepted. When you’re a kid, you’re still learning that, and I find that really fascinating because somehow, they can ignore it while also learning it.

After her college career, she’d like to work in counseling or a hands-on teacher. Another interest has been in public policy with an emphasis on education.

Bringing the Sun Along

From walking through the quad to watching the fountain and the palm trees sway, the campus itself evokes images of a classic California to her, but what she enjoys the most are the memories that people are trying to make during their time here.

“Everyone’s on their own journey and it’s kind of nice to see that everyone is trying to go somewhere. We’re all trying to work up to someplace and that’s the best part of community college because nobody is settling. There’s an optimistic side of being here. I don’t know if it’s a California thing or just me or the sun, but I’ll miss that.”


Ethan Lauren is currently studying journalism at Santa Monica College. If you would like to share your story or know somebody who has made an impact on campus, email

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