Joshua Soto “I had two standout English teachers in my life, who both made an incredible impact on me. They were there at every critical juncture, and that’s very powerful.”

He went off on a tear—straight from high school—to try to conquer the LA music scene. “I was in a band and pursued that for a number of years,” says Joshua Soto. “And like with anything that you love, you have to give it everything. Music is just in my heart. But I learned that there’s also a very ugly side to trying to be a professional musician. So now making music is just my release. And I want to become an English teacher.”

Joshua says, “I chose SMC because of its credibility, and because a lot of my friends have transferred to universities from here. I’m looking at Cal State Dominguez and UC Santa Barbara, because they both have excellent English departments,” says Joshua. “And teaching kids English—how to communicate and use language—is very powerful, because those skills impact every aspect of your life and all of your relationships. And I would dearly love to have made some positive influences on the lives of young people.”

Now at the ripe old age of 23, Joshua joins with his cousin Michael (also profiled in this schedule of classes) in hoping to make the world a better place through education. “We both come from primarily Hispanic families and—pardon the pun—but we call ourselves the ‘white sheep’ and the ‘black sheep’ of our families,” says Joshua with great amusement. “But we’re actually supporting each other a lot to get to where we need to go.”

Joshua says that his SMC education is a continuing surprise to him. “I had a biology class with Dr. Kim-Rajab, and I just loved that class. She got me so excited about the subject, and it was pure fun. It even got me started running again. Oh, and I stopped eating at McDonalds because of what I learned from her. That class literally brought at lot of positive change to my life and the way I think and feel.”

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