“I want to see all Latino people reach their goals. And I hope I can inspire them to get there.”
The study of her people means much more to Sylvia Granados than mere history. It’s an immersion for her in all the issues and problems that beset her East Los Angeles community and the new immigrants who arrive here. “Being as close to the border of other nations as we are,” she says, “there is always going to be an influx of new people arriving with their hopes and dreams. And all of these people will need help settling in and adjusting to a new way of life. So whatever I end up doing,” she continues, “I want to be involved in my community and be an inspiration, at some level. I would like to touch the lives of as many Latinos as I possibly can.”
Sylvia has been thinking about two career possibilities that she feels she could be useful in: counseling and optometry. “I think I could be very effective at a family planning agency,” she says. “But I’m leaning towards becoming an optometrist. I worked at a comprehensive health care center in East Los Angeles,” she recalls, “where there is such a huge need for quality, low-cost medical care in general. But the center had only one optometrist, who came in only twice a week, to serve that whole community. And I think that that’s just unfair when there is so much potential to do more.”
SMC has been a pleasant surprise to Sylvia. “I thought this would be a transitory place for me,” she says. “But I’ve discovered that the overall quality here is probably better than at most universities. It’s been a completely positive time in my life,” she says. “And I’ve been so pleased to find that I really belong here.”
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