Janet Gonzales

“In high school, all I wanted was to graduate and get out. But the professors here have so much passion that you can’t help but be a better student.”

“It’s been a bit of a rocky transition, but it’s a great one for me,” says Janet Gonzales of her recent move back to California from Ohio. “And you know, my friends back home were kinda laughing at me and saying, ‘Oh. It’s just a community college. Uh huh….’ But what they don’t know is that SMC is more like a university than some of those my friends will be going to. And it’s really hard work to keep up my GPA so that I can transfer to UCLA—my ultimate goal!” 

Janet has chosen the field of communication in order to “get into PR or broadcasting. Maybe even hosting my own show on TV. I feel like I’ve got the confidence in myself to go in those directions and use my verbal skills. But as far as getting out there in front of the cameras? Well,” she says with a laugh, “let’s just say I’ve got a lot work to do in that department!” Janet notes, “I’m actually the first woman in my family to go to college. So I didn’t really get a lot of advice about what to expect. But the teachers I have here at SMC are awesome. And I really love my journalism class with Mr. Stambler,” she continues. “He has a lot of real-life and hands-on experience because he actually worked at People magazine. And it really helps me a lot to study with someone who has all that professional experience.” 

Janet says, “My family back home is very proud of me for going to college and making this huge transition. But everyone at SMC seems to want to help me along. Financial aid has been just crucial. But there are so many resources available here that you learn all about on Welcome Day. If you inform yourself about all your options at SMC, there’s no reason not to go wherever you want to go.” 

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