Wilfredo Gomez “I tell my kids to stay in school. Don’t get involved in gangs. Because after 3 o’clock, that’s the kind of world that waits outside for a lot of them.”

Wilfredo Gomez—born in El Salvador—is going to become a criminal lawyer. There has never been any doubt in his mind. “Since I was in junior high school, I’ve known that I wanted to go into the law field. And so far, with my studies, I’ve been able to accomplish almost everything I’ve reached for.” He’s an accomplished student in the fine arts mentor program who studies ethnic dance one-on-one with instructor Judy Douglas. But his experience with “mentoring” extends far beyond achieving his own personal desires.

Wilfredo spends most of his time reaching out to high school students who are in danger of having an education pass them by. “As a member of SMC’s Mentor Club, I am basically involved with tutoring middle school kids and giving them a perspective on what their possibilities are,” says Wilfredo. “I teach two ESL classes at John Adams and I have all kinds of kids. And a lot of them are very discouraged about school. They think they can’t do it. But I need my kids to know that they don’t have to get involved with gangs,” he continues. “So my main goal is to help them continue their education and prepare for a better future.” He credits his own family for providing the support he’s needed to succeed. “My family has always been there for me,” he says.

Wilfredo recently went on a school-sponsored trip to Stanford “to see what it’s all about up there.” It was a trip he hopes to make one-way in the very near future. But for now, studying, dancing, teaching and planning his career in law all contribute to a quality he says is very important in life: balance.

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