Silvia Miramontes “A lot of Latinos seem to drop out of school. But for me, that’s just not possible. I’m going the whole route.”

When you have four older brothers, you get used to a little friendly competition. But when Silvia Miramontes showed up for her first semester at SMC—straight out of high school—she admits that the pressures ratcheted up a notch or two. “All my teachers are good here, but there’s nothing easy about any of it. They work you real hard,” says Silvia, who’s swimming long laps in the SMC pool to deal with the stresses. “I’m a full-time student and I work a lot of hours, but it’s okay because I’m growing up quickly and maturing. And I know where the road is taking me.”

The “road” Silvia refers to is a career in public relations after stops at SMC and USC’s School of Communications. It’s a road that began in Tijuana, Mexico. “I came here with my whole family, and I think they’re all very proud of me,” says Silvia. “My parents never got to go to college and they’re very happy that my brother Jorge and I are in SMC. The two of us are best friends, and we help each other a lot with our homework,” she continues. “And I would say that the best decision I ever made was coming here.”

Of her short time at the college Silvia says, “I felt the quality of this place the first day I came here. You can really see it in the faces of the people. And the teachers and staff—like tutoring coordinator Joyce Cheney—are the best. She’s taught me so much about writing and explaining myself. And in public relations, you might have good people skills, but what you really get judged by is your ability with language. It makes me feel good about myself to know that what I’m learning here—right now—is something I’ll be putting to good use for the rest of my life.”

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