AS President/Justice

Taynara Costa-Moura

“I live a lot closer to another community college, but I wanted to go to the very best. So I came to SMC. One of the best choices I’ve made in my life!”

Yep. She’s a ‘cover girl.’ If you look at the cover of SMC’s Fall 2013 Schedule of Classes, you will espy the beaming face—middle row, far right—of Taynara Costa-Moura, the current Associated Students (AS) President. “That was a group photo of the Presidents’ Ambassadors,” said Taynara. “We appear at all sorts of events to greet, network, and generally put a face on who we are and what we do at SMC.” Taynara’s extraordinary spoken English belies the fact that she was born and raised in Brazil. But it was her time spent studying in her native land that set her on a course for the US—and SMC.

“I was studying Architecture, and I just didn’t want to do that anymore. To change my major meant having to start all over again. And what I was really looking for was some kind of deeper meaning in my life. So I came to America, where you can explore and change quite easily. And I wanted to find an educational path that would supply me with the sense of purpose that I was looking for.”

Fortunately, Taynara encountered two professors—among many others—who would put her on the path she hopes to follow for the rest of her life. “Eric Oifer in Political Philosophy and Professor Mattessich in English were both very influential for me. But I have to confess that it took a lot of reflection before deciding on what my life would become. And both these professors made me think deeply about the true value of life, and where I would find the greatest meaning. I simply came to the conclusion that advocating for social justice is what I’d be good at, and is what I love. I will hopefully transfer to UC Berkeley or to Columbia,” says Taynara. “But I’m very grateful to SMC for opening up the way for me.”

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