Enrique Vega “Professor Kawaguchi in History is very professional. Always on track with the syllabus, always there early. She is just devoted to teaching her subject.”

Imagine that—every now and then—someone throws a rattlesnake in your lap. Think that might affect your ability to concentrate, maybe just a little bit? Enrique Vega, who’s been battling his way at SMC for more than five years, has had to deal with something like that scenario for a long time.

“I had this neural condition called seizure disorder, where I would just drop. But I finally had neurosurgery, so now there’s no more bills, no more ambulances…. It completely changed my life. Now I can really concentrate. And I get to stay in school!” he says with a life-affirming laugh. But more than just his medical condition has cleared up for Enrique. The road to a definite career has also opened up in his mind. “I’m focusing on business because I want to work for FedEx as a manager. They have these really cool programs where they train you in Memphis, and you get a degree,” he says. “Then, after about a year, they promote you to management. It’s a good package, with all the benefits, the 401K… the whole nine yards.”

Now that those ‘rattlesnakes’ have been vanquished, Enrique is feeling much more confident about his life. “In about another year, I’ll have 60 units, and my goal is to reach a 2.5 GPA and transfer to Northridge. But SMC has been a great place for me,” he says. “Even the night classes are good, because they’re filled with more mature people, who really want to progress with their lives. As do I.”

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