Letvie Thomson “I’m sticking with it, no matter what the obstacles. I’m staying in school, and I’m proud to say that about myself.”

“My main goal is to open clinics in what I call ‘my country,’” says Letvie Thomson, whose parents came to the US from West Africa. “I want to be able to teach the illiterate about birth control, and to give children the encouragement to go on to school. I believe we have a lot of talented, gifted people in West Africa,” she says. “All they need is for someone to come and tell them that they are.” It’s her vision of a different future—of growing and advancing—that has led Letvie to discover new potentials at SMC.

“I’m involved in Nursing now, but I’m studying to become a Nurse Practitioner,” she says. “They’re almost like doctors because they have a lot of say in the medical field; they just don’t have the MD title. But they do have better malpractice insurance,” she says with a laugh. “And right now, I’m in classes where students are in close contact with each other. It makes you stronger when you feel united with others.” And one class where Letvie feels she needs all her strength is Biology 7 (General Biology II). “I take that class with Walt Sakai, and it’s very advanced science,” she says. “He’s very demanding, but I really have the sense that he wants only the very best for all of us.”

To keep up with her studies—and the bills—Letvie has had to make a lot of adjustments. “I’m really focused on my career and what I believe a family life should be since I started going back to college,” she says. “I adjust my work to my school, not the other way around, even though that makes financial problems. You’ll always get advice like, ‘Oh, why don’t you just put off college until you’re a little more settled?’” she reports. “But I’m going to find a way to balance everything, no matter how hard it gets. School is my ‘Number One’ priority.”

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