“Dan Nannini has been so much more than a counselor to me. He’s been a friend, a mentor, and a guide in where I’m going in life.”
Remember the comedy “Groundhog’s Day”—where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over? For Harmony Rousseau, life, in a sense, was very much like that. But it was no comedy. “I had a really hard time going to school as a child, and I began to believe that I would just never be a school person,” she recalls. “It was a bad time for me: very disappointing and sad.” But in 1999, Harmony made her way to SMC and a discovery that would change her life.
“I met Dan Nannini in the Transfer Center, and he got me to pour my frustrations and my heart out. And he said, ‘I think you need to get a little testing done.’” But the “testing” Dan was thinking about wasn’t the academic type that had driven Harmony to despair. Rather, it was a series of evaluations that would bring Harmony’s despair to an end.
“At the Center for Students with Disabilities, they found that I have incredible difficulties processing language. I mean, I have to read everything three or four times to get it,” says Harmony. “But just knowing that this was the problem was a huge relief, and I got accommodations, help, and resources through the Learning Disabilities Program. And this has helped me to build my confidence as a student,” she continues. “I’m definitely using everything SMC has to offer, and I think it’s just a fantastic school.”
Though formal study is and will always be a formidable challenge for her, Harmony has parlayed her great intelligence and drive into a 3.5 GPA. “I’m going to major in Psychology and eventually transfer to UCLA,” she says. “But I feel I’ve really grown into myself at SMC. If you have the courage to reach out, you’ll find fantastic services and help here. I’m succeeding and becoming…smarter. And my life is now filled with so much substance and depth.” For one young SMC woman, life has become a proposition filled with ‘Harmony.’
Read more stories from present and past years in the
SMC Student Spotlight Archive.