Film & SMC Fitness Club

Jimmy Nguyen

“I was actually a pretty chubby kid. Now I’m running fitness boot camps on the beach, and I’m in the best shape of my life. And helping others.”

“The SMC Fitness Club is a free workout for people who want to exercise, but just not alone,” says Jimmy Nguyen, formerly of Detroit “It’s a completely social experience, and Sundays are our big day. We’ll have anywhere from 100 to 400 people on the beach. From a distance,” he says with a laugh,” it looks like a monster sandstorm!”

Jimmy's hop-over to California and SMC was a decision that was both pragmatic and complex. “I chose SMC because film is my calling, and the College has the highest transfer rate to UCLA and USC. I would love to become a mixture of writer/producer/director. Those are big dreams, I know. But I get to meet and network with something like 35,000 students here at SMC. The campus is just beautiful, and it’s always filled with good energy.”

But the energy Jimmy felt back in his Detroit suburb was not of a very pleasant sort. “My biggest problem was that I felt a lot of racism directed at me,” says the young ‘buff dude’ who’s half Chinese and half Vietnamese. “I was in a place that was predominantly Middle Eastern, and the other kids just took it out on me because I was different,” he says with some real sadness. “So coming here to LA has given me the real diversity that I always wanted. It truly is the ‘melting pot’ for all the world.”

Jimmy states, “My teachers here are all really good; whether it’s day classes or in night school. And they always make it easy to connect with them on a personal level. And when you can do that,” he adds, “even though it’s tough as nails, you really begin to enjoy the whole process. Being a student is a very fun job.”

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