Catherine Veale-Reed “I feel so grateful because I was coming down to a financial ‘crunch’ and my scholarship made it possible to stay in school.”

As a recent transplant to California from her native Iowa, Catherine Veale-Reed has had to make some big adjustments. “It’s a major thing, just establishing your residency out here,” she re-ports. “But I’m also returning to school after taking three years off. And coming back to a place like SMC—where everybody is so helpful and accepting of my situation—made it a really good transition for me. My teachers were always a good resource.”

Another resource that Catherine found at S​MC was the scholarship she received for working at the ​John Adams Ocean Park Children’s Center this past summer. “It was a great experience,” she says. “I was working with pre-schoolers, helping them with projects, playing and generally taking care of them. I really recommend the experience because if you want to work with kids, you need a total immersion program to show you where you’d like to go. In my case,” she adds with a laugh, “I found out I’d like to work with a little bit older variety of child.”

Catherine says that even though pre-schoolers can be challenging, the staff at John Adams was great to work with. “They were always very open to ideas, and the director was there for me whenever I had questions—especially about discipline,” she reports.“I felt like my work was very appreciated. They even gave us a little party when we left.”

Catherine plans to push on with her education to eventually get a masters in Spanish and German and become a teacher. “My internship was crucial to me, and I really hope they continue the program,” she says. “When tuition went to $13 a unit, I know a lot of people that were just killed by the extra expense. Having that scholarship takes a lot of the worry out of education,” Catherine says. “And ultimately, I think it’s going to help a lot of people stay in school.”

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