Natalie Pace “In all of my classes at USC, I really feel like I’m right at the top as soon as I walk in. Thanks, SMC!”

She’s now at USC, majoring in English and feeling pretty much at the top of her game. But Natalie Pace is realistic, above all else, when it comes to the future. “I plan on being a writer but I’m also concerned with making a living. So I may be teaching in a few years. And I know that teaching isn’t exactly the all-time big money maker,” she adds with a hoot. “But schlepping scripts around for years can be pretty frustrating as well.”

Natalie’s devotion to the rigors of study came after a career that many people only dream of. “I spent 10 years being a singer and songwriter,” says the proud mom of a 2-1/2 year old son. “It was show-biz, it was exciting, and it was a great way to spend time. I was in and out of record deals; I did some movies, did some videos. Rock ’n roll is great!” But she adds that there’s a lot of “rough and tumble” in the rock ’n roll world. “But, putting it into perspective, for 10 years I did exactly what I wanted to do.”

“My old friends are now in Guns and Roses,” says Natalie. “But I’ve got a different agenda that I’m very comfortable with.” And a lot of her agenda was shaped by SMC. “The college is just the best,” she says. “I’ve only been at USC for a week now. But SMC got me thoroughly prepared. Even in the classes that weren’t honors’ classes, I always felt challenged—challenged and nurtured. That’s what SMC does best,” Natalie reflects. “And I still drive by the campus, on my way downtown. And every time I pass by,” she continues, “I say to myself, ‘God! I love this place!”

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