Louise Langefors “I realized that when you’re feeling empty, the answer is to go out and help someone else.”

“When I got here, I was still living the good life,” says Louise Langefors of Stockholm, Sweden. “I was still partying and my main objective was to have fun. But then my family in Sweden lost everything,” she says. “And so the last couple of years have been a big turnabout in my life: a challenging struggle.”

When Louise’s family lost their extensive business interests, she started feeling very shaky about her own future. “But the family really came together, and I really appreciate the strength of my parents and what they have taught me about getting through the hard times.” What her parents taught her was to literally work through problems. And so Louise threw herself into study, where she was lucky to find some SMC teachers who understand her needs. “Mrs. Costello and Mrs. Takenaka are the kind of teachers that not only love what they teach but also have an interest in every student as a person,” says Louise. She credits her two teachers with keeping her going after she was badly injured during a music video filming. “When you know you’re going into class with a teacher that brings you ‘up’ so much, you can get out of bed in spite of the pain. That’s how much I love their classes.”

Louise has learned that getting outside your problems is the best way not to get down about them. “In Mrs. Takenaka’s class, she told us, ‘Some of you will do well and you should be helping those who are struggling.’ And when I started helping the other people, I realized how much better I was learning myself. And I think that’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned at SMC,” says Louise. “In teamwork you find different kinds of strength in yourself.”

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