​Student Trustee 2004-05,
Former ICC Chair

Dina Cervantes “SMC has more student clubs than any other campus in the entire state. That’s what makes the College feel so much like a home.”

She’s been coming to SMC for four years now. But with the kind of schedule Dina Cervantes maintains, she’s lucky if it isn’t 10 years. “I used to work full time in a preschool, and then come to the College part time. And then there’ve been a few jobs I’ve done in student government,” she says in understatement-of-the-year fashion. “I’ve been involved in many movements and rallies, and I’m currently president of CALSACC, which represents all of the community colleges in the state at the regional level. I just love being here,” says Dina, “and doing whatever I can to help the students.”

Dina, who has a double major in Child Development and Sociology, is particularly concerned with the lack of funding that helps the marginalized people who seek a leg up through the community college system. “It hurt a lot of people when the Automotive program was cut, and I was one of them,” she says. “I was only into it as a hobby, but there are a lot of other people for whom Automotive is going to be their whole life.” And whenever Dina perceives cuts in educational funding, she sees a correlation and a ripple effect throughout society. “I believe every child should have equal access to learning, and I’d like to eventually lobby on the behalf of children and minorities. My plan is to open a daycare preschool to get me through law school, and then run for a civic government position. I mean,” she adds, “I had some bad experiences in high school: I hung around with a bad crowd, and then I got sent to Olympic Continuation High School and really got straightened out. That was where I got my first taste of student leadership,” she reports. “And I realize that there are a lot of kids—like I was—who just need a little more support and encouragement.”

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