Social Work

Alia Toscano

“I always knew that I’d be going to college, but I didn’t know for what. Fortunately, I found my way to some great SMC counselors.”

She was in her second year at SMC, and could report making major progress in her life. “I came here because I wanted to be in a really different environment from where I grew up,” says Diana Aguilar. “I wanted a new way of looking at life and things, and I wanted a challenge, as well. I just knew that SMC would give me both of those things. And all the teachers and counselors here have been really great for me.”

In fact, academic counseling actually became a real game-changer for Diana. “I’d always thought that I wanted to go into some area of criminal justice, but that just wasn’t my strongest area of study. So, when I met my counselor through the Latino Center, we went into a lot of ‘processes’ to find out where I belonged. She asked me a ton of questions, and analyzed what I told her. And then we both came to understand that getting involved in social work would be the best place for me, in terms of both my abilities and my personality.”

Diana adds, “Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of great changes in myself since coming here. I’m no longer undecided, and I feel very strongly about the path I’m on now. In fact,” she adds, “it was another counselor I had—Sergio, at the Welcome Center—who really got me organized and focused. And suddenly, I didn’t feel like I was in some huge struggle any more. And I’ve had nothing but great support and teachers through the Latino Center. That’s been the greatest resource for me. Because whenever I’ve needed help or answers, someone over there has always come forward to guide me along.”

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