Volume X, Issue 3 | June 12, 2024

Getting Involved

In the last three years, Victor Chambers helped first-year students adjust to college life, interned at a film festival, and led The Corsair journalism team to victory. No small feat for a full-time student, who came from Brazil in search of better opportunities in art and culture.

SMC In Focus


In the last three years, Victor Chambers has helped first-year students adjust to college life, interned at a prestigious film festival, and led The Corsair journalism team to victory. No small feat for a full-time student.

But Victor made it happen. Graduating this Spring with an Associate degree in Journalism, the Brazilian native arrived in Los Angeles over 11 years ago in search of better opportunities, especially in art and culture.

"It's the thing that really drives me forward, what I fill my days with," he explains with a grin. "I love learning about different cultures in the world — how people create art forms in different cultures."

After getting his GED, Victor began classes at SMC in 2021 with the goal of pursuing a career in media. This led him to join The Corsair journalism team, first as a contributor and then as editor-in-chief from 2022 to 2023. His time there, Victor shares, was the first time he felt like he was truly part of a community at SMC. 

Victor led The Corsair team in nabbing 35 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP), the California College Media Association (CCMA), and the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). And if that didn't keep him busy enough, he also took on an internship at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting independent filmmakers, and worked on campus for both the Peer Navigator Program and Adelante Program.

Victor believes in making the most of the opportunities that come one's way, no matter what it takes. That's why, like many of his peers, Victor spent his time at SMC balancing his education and passion projects with several part-time jobs to pay the bills.

"For many of us, I think the main challenge has always been how to be a full-time student and still make ends meet," Victor notes. "Most people that I met at SMC did work, even if it was part-time, you know, to support their parents or to help. And it's just going to become more difficult for all of us, because everything's getting more expensive. And again, the other reality is that even working on these three jobs, they only basically cover rent and a few little things."

After such a hectic schedule, Victor's big plan for the summer is to take a nice, long break until he starts classes this fall at Cal State Northridge, where he will be pursuing a double major in journalism and marketing with a minor in entertainment media management. And although he'll be taking advantage of the online class option, he's determined to be on campus as much as possible.

"I want to be part of the community there as well," he explains. "Because I saw how that completely affects your college experience, how it increases the opportunities that become available to you."

But there's more to the college experience than just showing up in person, he adds.

"I worked for two SMC programs," he says, "so I've seen a lot of students who don't do online classes. And they're there every day at SMC. But even if you're there physically, it doesn't mean that you're actually being a part of the community or taking advantage of everything SMC has to offer."

Victor hopes to use everything he's learned and experienced to create meaningful change in media. "My big goal is to own a media production company focused on spotlighting and developing Latinx talent," he shares. "I want to produce movies, TV shows and podcasts that highlight Latinx talent."

Looking back, he's amazed by how much he's accomplished at SMC.

"So many other opportunities came about because I tried to be part of the community as much as possible," he says. "That's the advice that I give to all my mentees at the Peer Navigators program: Get involved. Not only are you going to find your community, but you're also going to find your entire college life, your academic journey changed by it.”

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