Literature/Latino Center

Ismael Bustamante

“Involvement is the key to success at SMC. When you first get here, go straight to the Welcome Center. And then make your own survey of all the club action.”

“If you commit to being part of the scholarly environment, you’ll find it helps you so much to be prepared for any challenges you might have to face,” advises Ismael Bustamante in his third year at SMC. And he knows whereof he speaks. “Yeah, I’ve gotten pretty involved in the academic life. I’m a student worker in the Latino Center, and I’m in the Adelante program. I’m also in the Scholars Program, and I interact a lot with the Black Collegians, because we work right beside them.” And through all his involvement, Ismael constantly benefited from one of SMC’s finest resources.

“The counselors I’ve had have been incredibly important to me. They are all very successful people, and you just know that they want the same kind of success to happen for you, too. For me, they are mentors that I look up to, and they’ve given me the desire—and direction—to accomplish my very best.” Success, for Ismael, is something he hopes will come his way through use of the written word. “When I first opened one of the Harry Potter books, I just got instantly passionate about literature and reading,” he says. “It’s wonderful to sometimes just drift off into worlds that don’t exist. And I’d like to eventually write my own novels, and maybe screenplays, too. In fact,” he adds, “I’m just now looking into internship possibilities with production companies, because I’m also very interested in entertainment.”

Ismael advises, “If you get really involved in the academic life—through clubs, workshops, and cultural events—you’re going to feel like you really belong here. And joining up with other like-minded people here is always going to build your determination to excel.”

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