Wendy Monteon “I take a two-hour bus ride every day to get here from near Southgate. But the Sciences at SMC are worth it all.”

“I went through a deep depression in my senior year because I knew I wasn’t going to a four-year college,” says Wendy Monteon of a difficult time in her life. “I mean, I’d meet friends who’d ask me, ‘So, how’s it going at UCLA?’ And I was so sad to have to tell them ‘I’m not there.’ I was able to go to UC right out of high school,” recalls Wendy. “But there was no way I could afford to take on those loans.” But in that dark hour of Wendy’s life, she discovered SMC, and things began looking up.

“I met Oscar Galindo in the Latino Center, and he really helped me out right away. He made sure that I got my residency status cleared up, and then he recommended me for a scholarship program.” And since that time, Wendy has charged ahead with her plans to become a Physician’s Assistant. “I actually did an internship at the Charles Drew Medical School last summer,” she says with great pride. “I was doing clinical rotations, which is pretty much playing the ‘shadow’ of doctors. And most of them let me do whatever needed doing, as long as the patient was okay with it. So I felt I was already practicing medicine.”

Wendy espouses the Adelante Program at SMC, calling it “one of the best resources offered to Latino students. They provide counseling, work up educational plans for us, and take us out on field trips to Cal State and UC campuses,” she says. “And someday soon, because of all the help I’ve had at SMC, I’ll be delivering healthcare to a lot of people who need it so much. They’re the reason I don’t mind that two-hour bus ride.”

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