Maricela Franco “Now that NAFTA has come along, I feel like a lot of doors between Mexico and the U.S. will be opening for business, and for me.”

“I want to get some experience in the corporate world and then open my own business,” says Maricela Franco who is studying Business Administration. “With a masters degree, and speaking both Spanish and English, I think I can be valuable in marketing and advertising.” And if she ever heads for Mexico on a business trip, in a sense it will be returning home for Maricela.

“My parents are both Mexican and they’re very proud of what I’m doing with my life. I’m the first in my family to go to college, and I have their support 100%. But since they didn’t have much school,” she continues, “it was hard for me to get motivated about the idea of college. In my first year here, I wasn’t doing too well. But then I began working at the University Transfer Center, and that’s when I started getting really pumped up.” Through her work at the UTC, Maricela discovered the Latino Center, the Adelante Program, and a whole network of resources and contacts that she now wants everyone at SMC to know about.

“There are tutors and mentors available through all kinds of programs, and they’re free,” she says. “I really want to emphasize how important it is for all students at SMC to know about all the help there is available. If people have any questions, all they have to do is come by the Transfer Center. People often don’t know where or how to transfer,” she continues. “But if they come by the Center, we can give them applications, explain how to get financial aid, give them advice on their best choice of schools, everything they need. And we deliver.”

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