Danny Aguilar “At first I didn’t know what I was getting into, and the responsibilities were overwhelming. But I love every minute of it now; I can’t even picture myself without my position at SMC.”

Danny Aguilar has evolved at SMC in direct proportion to his involvement. “At first I came to SMC to become a high school history teacher. And then I started getting involved. Wow! I can’t believe what’s happened since,” he says with a weary laugh. “I started out in CLUE, and became the VP and then president of that club. And now—because of the AS presidency—I’ve definitely decided to go into politics. I would love to be a congressman and work my way up to being a senator.” Danny hopes the road from SMC to Washington, DC, will lead him through Stanford.

“I’d rather be in a private university like Stanford because there’s a huge difference between being in a class of 35, versus one with 1,000 people,” he says. But he’s found his very public education at SMC all that he could wish for to move forward in life. “SMC isn’t just a ‘stepping stone’ to another school: It’s a place where you make a rich life for yourself every day with the help of great people. Ms. Lydia Casillas, in Counseling, has helped me from day one and is my closest friend here,” says Danny. “And Professor Lawrence Driscoll, in English, has given me unbelievable inspiration.” But his greatest inspiration at SMC may well be the trust he’s been honored with by his fellow students. “It still hasn’t hit about what all of this means,” says Danny. “But one of my counselors told me that it will sneak up on me one day, and that I’m going to realize that—Wow!—I was SMC president. Becoming active on this campus has made me a very different person.”

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