Roberto Sanchez “The Science facilities at SMC are very, very good. All of our equipment is brand new, and we have everything we could wish for to work with.”

“I’m going into medicine because one of my dreams is to help people all over Latin America,” said Roberto Sanchez, activist and future doctor. “There are so many poor people that need help, and I’d like to be one of those medics that flies around to provide healthcare. Even here in the United States we have a lot of poor who don’t get the care they need. But you don’t hear very much about that.”

Roberto says that being in the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) has been one of his better SMC experiences. “We give each other a lot of support to be better students, and sometimes one is just more comfortable speaking one’s native language,” he says. “And I really recommend ALAS because, when you join with us, you’ll be meeting a lot of other people who have the same struggles. I’m only the second in my family to go to college, and it’s like that for many of us: We have to work hard, and go to school as well.”

In Roberto’s opinion, Latinos who don’t make use of SMC’s counselors are missing the boat. “There are so many teachers and counselors here working to help us all out, like Nati Vazquez, who’s the advisor for ALAS,” says Roberto. “He’s always there to help us, but he won’t just give us what we need,” says Roberto with a laugh. “He kind of hints around that maybe he could help us in some ways. And then he watches us to see if we’re willing to work for it.” Of ALAS Roberto adds, “We promote political awareness and fight for students’ rights to have an education. It’s a tough fight to get undocumented people funding for it,” he says. “But there’s a lot of us involved in the struggle.”

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