Janet and Maricela de la Torre “Our internship reinforced our goal to become teachers. We never looked at it as a job. It’s just something we really wanted to do.”

The de la Torre sisters have plenty to do with the extra 19 hours a week they each have, now that they’ve finished their SMC Summer Internship program. There’s a lot to learn before they both transfer to LMU to eventually become teachers. “We have our work cut out for us,” says Janet. “I’d like to go for my Ph.D., and I’m planning on taking a double major in Spanish that will let me teach at the college level.” Says Maricela, who has been very active in CLUE on campus, “I’m going to take my time and make good grades and eventually be an elementary school teacher—which is kind of a family thing with me. Education has always been an important thing in our own family, so I hope to stress it with my own kids some day, and with the people I encounter.” But for six weeks this past summer, the de la Torre ‘family’ was extended to include the children of Los Angeles’ Saturn Elementary School.

“I worked in a first grade class from 12 to 2:30, and it was a great experience,” says Janet. “Then we’d play games, and I’d help them with their homework. I know that I made the kids feel comfortable, and I also participated in their lessons plans, so I know they learned a lot through me. I also taught some of them a lot of Spanish along the way.”

Maricela says that she’s very appreciative of SMC for the scholarship she and her sister received. “I’ve always liked the environment at school,” she says. “People here reach out to make things possible for you that maybe wouldn’t happen somewhere else.” The de la Torres both say their summer was a success. “But it’s really not just about a scholarship,” says Janet. “It’s really about the great people I got to work with. They reinforced in me everything I’ve always wanted to do.”

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