Alia Toscano “I had Yvette Saavedra for History 12, and she was amazing! The perspective she brings to US history is thoroughly modern, objective, and always engaging.”

She learns about her world viewing it through the sometimes obscure—but always fascinating—lens of history. “How the US has evolved and become what it is an incredible story,” says Alia Toscano, whose family came here from Mexico. “With all the different cultures that have made this country, it’s very telling about how all the policies that were made for—and against—these groups. You could actually spend your entire life just reading and writing about the Native Americans who first lived here.”

In her own life, Alia is dead certain about two things. “I’ll be transferring to UCLA, and in 10 years I’ll have my PhD,” she says forthrightly. “Everyone in my family has gone to college, so I never had any doubt that I would as well. And I’m completely happy and satisfied about the three semesters that I’ve spent at SMC. The quality of the professors and the variety of the classes available here are incredible. But it’s the wealth of resources at SMC that make this college work so well. I’ve had financial aid through the Pico Promise Transfer Academy,” says Alia. “But students need to become aware of all the opportunities available to them. There’s the Transfer/Counseling Center that informs you about all your four-year options. Then there’s the Latino Center in the Counseling complex. Very helpful. And there are tons of scholarships and other financial opportunities described on SMC’s website. Check it out!”

Alia adds, “I expect history to continue to be my passion. I’m not exactly sure of how I’ll put this passion of mine to use,” she says. “But I’d like to think that, someday, I’ll be writing inspiring textbooks in my field. Possibly even books for use at SMC....”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​