William Cabrera “A lot of smart people have to work to pay for school these days. SMC’s got the kind of programs that work with you.”

He was born in a little-known province of Mexico called UCLA. “When I say I’m Mexican,” explains William Cabrera with a laugh, “I’m just referring to my heritage. But I do have a lot of family in Mexico and I like to visit them there.” His visits to Mexico will definitely increase when William—who is transferring to Cal State Long Beach—launches his career.

“I want to be involved in international business communications,” says William. “Plants are locating across the border, and I think that being bilingual, with a business degree, will keep me working between the U.S. and Mexico. But it’s too bad we’re getting all this anti-immigrant talk in the U.S. right now,” he adds. “I just hope that all blows over before I graduate.”

William also has some strong feelings about recent repeals of affirmative action as it applies to education. “There’s a lot of smart people that just need a little break in this world to make it. I think some of these decisions are going to be a real setback for students who might have gone directly into the UC system. But now, it looks like a lot of them won’t be going on to college at all. I’m just glad that SMC is here because, for a lot of people, community colleges are the only option they have left.”

William reports that “Ms. McDonald in the Counseling office really turned around what I was doing here. She always took the time for me and told me what I needed to do to transfer. If you don’t get a good counselor,” he continues, “you’re just running around with your head chopped off. Ask for some good advice at SMC, and you’re going to save a lot of time and money.”

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