Nikita Volchetskiy “My grandmother was completely right: SMC is the very best college, and I think the teachers here are very polite and understanding of all of us from other countries.”

From the freezing cold of Minsk, Belarus, to the seething tropics of the Dominican Republic. Then onward to California, and finally to SMC. The voyage of Nikita Volchetskiy has been an improbable one and, at times, a dangerous one. “I left home when I was 16 and—it’s a very long story—but my family had to leave,” says Nikita about some dark times that he’d just as soon forget. “But the family just decided that we’d all stay together, no matter what. And we finally came to LA, just because my grandmother was living here.”

Nikita’s English is nearly accent-free, and just about perfect otherwise. He has, of course, retained his native Belorussian, and these two languages may well

prove invaluable in his future. “I’m studying economics and business, because I think I will want to get involved in finding finances for business, or maybe starting my own business. I will always be from Belarus,” he says. “But California—and Los Angeles—are now my home. And at SMC, I feel like I have almost every chance to go in whatever direction—or into whatever profession—I choose.”

Nikita adds, “After SMC, I want to transfer to whatever college will take me to finish the studies for my Bachelor’s degree. But I’m working very hard to keep my grades very good, and it is my dream to go to either Harvard or Stanford. I understand that a lot of SMC students have gone on from here to such schools,” says Nikita. “And it would be a great honor to somehow follow in their footsteps.”

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