Daniel Martinez “After high school, I started working and making money. But then I discovered how important my education really is to me.”

David Martinez is studying graphic design in preparation for working in film or advertising. And he’s enjoying the knowledge that the “loose change” he thought was so important to be stuffing his pockets with after high school is no longer a priority. But education is. “Filipino parents are really into getting their kids to finish school. They’re kind of strict and they were on my case for a while,” says David. “But I know now that they’re behind me all the way.”

David has made membership in the Filipino Club on campus a part of his effort to create a larger sense of community among his people. “Filipinos are the largest Asian population in California. But we tend to look out for ourselves only. And since those of us in the Club are the next generation,” he continues, “maybe we can send out the message that we should all be caring for each other.”

Though David reports that he’s an extremely “visual thinker,” he says that he’s been very surprised at how much he’s enjoying his current history classes with Harvey Stromberg. “He’s so much fun to be with in a class because he’s hilarious and he keeps everybody on their toes. He always gives us the whole story of history; not just the half-story you sometimes get from the books.”

David has some very definite advice for new students on how to make the best use of SMC. “If you’re flailing around when you first get started, go right to your teachers and ask for help,” he says. “Not having a good dialog with my teachers was a mistake I made at first, but that has changed now. I just urge everyone to get personal with their teachers. Respect them and they’ll help you in every way possible. It’s what they’re here for.”

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