Future Alumni Network

2018-2019 President's Ambassadors


Damaris Alvarez

Damaris AlvarezHi! This is my second year at SMC and I’m majoring in Communication Studies. I’m hoping to transfer to USC/UCLA/ or Pepperdine University. A little about myself is I graduated High School in 2013 and I was accepted at CSUN. When I started attending CSUN I was lost and I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I dropped out of college and decided to work full time. I worked for four years and I learned a lot about the experience but one night I started thinking of going back to school. In 2017, I enrolled at SMC and when I stepped foot on this campus, I knew I was meant to go here. I instantly had connections with my professors and appreciated the small classrooms. I loved going to school but it was hard for me to step out of my comfort zone and talk to my classmates. My first semester here I would attend my classes then I would go straight home because I didn’t know anybody or didn’t connect with any one. That is when I decided to get involved. I joined programs like EOPS and Scholars so I could meet other students with the same ambition. I’m became a President’s Ambassador and I never thought I would be a PA when I came back to school because of my past or mistakes I’ve made over the years. However, that’s what I love about SMC. They accepted me and gave me a second chance at my future. I want to encourage all students to not give up! What helped me get through the bad times was having people who supported me and I focused on what I was passionate about. I even tried new things that I didn’t know I had a passion for like surfing. I have never surfed before but I took a beginner surfing class here at SMC and it was the best class I’ve had. So get involved and keep pushing forward!

Adjoa (Marmie) Andoh Newton

Adjoa (Marmie) Andoh NewtonI moved to Los Angeles from New York last year after high school to chase my dream of attending UCLA. I just started my second year here at SMC, and I am applying to transfer to UCLA this fall as a communication major. My experience here at SMC has been remarkable. Most of my teachers have been so helpful and the counselors have also helped me a lot. All the resources I’ve had the privilege of using have enhanced my journey here, and hence, I wanted to become a president’s ambassador in order to give back to the SMC community. Having said that, I encourage all students make use of the resources available to have an awesome college experience.

Rachel Asiedu

Rachel AsieduHi everyone! My name is Rachel Asiedu, I am entering my second year at Santa Monica College and I am majoring in Communications and Media Studies. I am originally from a small town in Michigan and I am a first-generation Ghanaian. Growing up, I always had big aspirations and I challenged myself. In tenth grade, I was invited to take a writing course at UCLA and I fell in love with the West Coast. I was accepted to many universities in Michigan, yet each school I visited did not feel like the right campus. On a vacation to Santa Monica, I visited SMC and found it was the perfect school for me. I found that the counselors truly cared for each student, the diversity of the school was impressive, and the school pride from the students was inspirational. As soon as I enrolled as a student, I knew I had made the right decision. I changed my major a few times before settling on Communication studies. I now work on campus as a Social Media Liaison; in this position, I update SMC’s Instagram and social media accounts. I also intern at KCRW, a major radio station in Los Angeles located on SMC’s campus. I became a President’s Ambassador to give back to the campus that has already given so much to me. As a PA, I hope to inspire other students to take leadership positions and to volunteer in their community. I also hope to gain experience in serving my campus. I hope to transfer to either UCLA, UC Santa Barbra or UC San Diego; however, SMC will always have a special place in my heart. This school is a place where I truly felt that my presence mattered. The professors, staff members, and students helped me feel like this campus was my second home. That’s why I am proud to be SMC.

Melissa Bruno

Melissa BrunoGrowing up, my entire identity was wrapped around being a professional dancer. As the stereotype of individuals aspiring to work in entertainment goes, I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18, completely on my own and without much of a plan. After working in the industry for a while I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do, so I decided to enroll myself back into school. I began my journey here at SMC clueless, crossing my fingers that at least one field of study would catch my interest. As I entered this accepting and motivated community of learners, and in taking my first science class, my perspective on life took a drastic turn and I soon discovered my inner passion in STEM that I never knew I had. Being that I am guided by a moral ethic of living in symbiosis with the environment, I was naturally attracted to a field where we learn the ins and outs of how we operate. After taking a few STEM classes, I decided on pursuing environmental engineering. I must mention how grateful I am that SMC provided exposure to the toxic state of the current environmental status quo and the benefits of living a “green” lifestyle. I am also proud to share that my identity no longer hinges upon one single activity. I am a motivated student, a loving girlfriend, a caring friend, and most of all, a citizen of the earth with the responsibility to leave this planet in a hospitable state for humankind. I would also like to thank the STEM and Scholar's program for challenging their students, including myself, in their academics. SMC has provided me with every resource needed to reach my goals, and in becoming a President Ambassador I want to share the opportunity of growth that SMC provides. I want to help my fellow peers discover themselves and make sure that they are also using the wealth of resources and knowledge given to them. Most importantly I want to help all students realize that they too have a place and space here, even if they do not know it just yet. I plan to spend two more years here at SMC so I look forward to motivating and guiding others to reach for their dreams because anything is possible when you are Proud To Be, SMC!

Victoria Castro

Victoria CastroHi everyone! My name is Victoria Mazzone, I am 19 years old and I am an international student from São Paulo, Brazil. I first came to the United States as an exchange student in high school to dance for a junior dance company. For the longest time I thought I was going to be a professional dancer; I dedicated my life to dance from when I was 3 until I was 17. What I didn’t expect was that life had other plans for me, and slowly I started to see that I was passionate for other things as well. I signed up for a Model United Nations conference, and that was when I first realized how much I was interested in politics, diplomacy and human rights in general; soon I decided to major in International Relations. Leaving dance behind was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am sure that all the love and discipline I acquired through dance, I will be able to use in my new journey as a student leader here at SMC and a future world leader. I plan on transferring to Europe for my bachelors and then doing my masters in either International Law or International Development.

Mohamed Cheour

Mohamed CheourHi. My name is Mohamed Cheour. I am 20 years old and I am one of the few Tunisian students at Santa Monica College. I am the only child my parents gave birth to and growing up I have always had everything that I wanted, until the day that I moved to the United Stated. Not only have I understood the importance that money has in our world; but I also realized that it might be the right time to start relying on myself and giving my parents back all the happiness that they gave me through out my life. I have been in SMC for two years now and my major is Computer Science. Regardless of the hardships and the difficulties that I have to deal with on a daily basis, I am working hard to reach my goals and make my parents proud and happy because their smile gives meaning to my life. One of my goals is to transfer to Stanford University. Being part of this wonderful team of President's Ambassador is not only helping me overcome some issues that I used to have, but also find different and more efficient ways to work on my dreams. Being part of the 10th generation of the President's Ambassador crew is definitely a huge honor for me. I get to explore new cultures, new traditions, new languages, and new lifestyles thanks to this experience. I am discovering that you can learn new things from every single person you meet and that underestimating people is a big mistake that I used to make. Every person has something to feed your knwoledge and brain. I hope to see you all happy in your lives, and always remember : LOVE is all we got.

Eladio Gonzalez Cabrera

Eladio Gonzalez CabreraI was born in a small, welcoming town in Santa Ana, El Salvador. At five, I crossed mountains with my mom to enter the U.S. Since age five, being undocumented shaped so many aspects life and made me the person I am today. Struggled learning English for many years of my primary schooling but had many supporters who believed in me and helped better my skills. My life changed freshman year of high school because I applied for DACA and have been a recipient of it since that year. In high school I was an honor roll student, in many clubs, and excelled academically, but did not get into any UC's or schools that I wanted. Choose to attend CSUN and could not afford housing or a three hour commute on three buses and a train. Therefore, on the last two days of high school I applied for SMC and enrolled in a summer classes. Choosing SMC was a blessing in disguise for me and even though it was not my first choice senior year of high school. Joined many wonderful and resourceful programs like Adelante and FYE. Became a board member of Spanish Cub and gained a wealth of leadership skills. Even got the confidence to take on the role of president of the club for this year. Started working on campus and off campus as well to help my family financial. In the Spring semester, found out about the PA program through my an amazing professor in my dance history class. Applied and felt incredibly nervous to do so. Made it to the interview round and later got an email saying I made into the PA program. My story is one of falling, failing, and obstacles (some out of my control), but also getting back up and in that processing learn to flourish. Spreading my wings at SMC and in life has been quite the process. Also, I could not have gotten this far without my parents, extended family, academic counselors, and friends. Therefore, encourage you to find your support network and if you see on campus, don't hesitate to say hello or ask me about resources/clubs/support on campus. Gracias y mucho éxito para todos.

Jonathan Hackner

Jonathan HacknerHi, my name is Jonathan. I am a Scholars student at Santa Monica College, pursuing an Associates Degree in Graphic Design and a transfer major in Architecture and Psychology. I grew up speaking Spanish and love visiting family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am passionate about human rights, design, writing, and science. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano, soccer, and tennis. I feel fortunate to have been selected to be part of the President’s Ambassadors program.

Iqra Hajidamji

Iqra HajidamjiI was born in Pakistan. I came to America when I was 15 years old and was accompanied by my younger brother. Growing up was extremely difficult for me as I was living without my parents and had the responsibility of my brother. In addition I was unaware of the culture and not confident enough to talk to people around me. During high school, I involved myself in extracurricular activities, through which I gained self-confidence and experienced different cultures and perspectives. Right after high school I decided to come to SMC due to its diverse and accepting environment. I am currently in my second year at Santa Monica College and I plan to transfer to UCLA or UCI as a biology major. I am also a Care Extender at UCLA hospital which helps me experience the hospital environment and allows me to work with doctors and nurses in various departments. In addition, as a President Ambassador, I plan to represent the SMC students and help them overcome their problems so that they can have a better experience at SMC and cherish the memories they gain at SMC for the rest of their lives. Through helping students at SMC I hope to be able to give back to the school for all the great opportunities and success the college has provided me.

Charlene Herrella

Charlene HerrellaHi my name is Charlene. I am a Communication Studies major, and I also spend much of my time singing, playing guitar, piano, and crocheting — but most of all I enjoy the ability to help others. As a first generation college student, I knew little to nothing about my school options. I had not prepared myself to attend a “dream school” because I thought I wasn’t even given the framework to dream. My mother and I were unfamiliar to how the educational system in the U.S. functioned. After my high school graduation, I took the reigns of my life. Now, as President’s Ambassador and Director of PR for Phi Theta Kappa, I feel certain there are opportunities out there for each of us. My goal here at SMC is to demonstrate the beauty of helping my community. I believe that becoming more selfless and aware of what is around us truly helps our heart, body, and mind flourish.

Kai-Chin Huang

Kai-Chin Huang你好, Hello everyone, I was born and raised in Taiwan, and started SMC last year in the fall. Currently I am studying computer science to transfer to UC Berkeley or UCLA. Two years ago, I was studying mechanic engineering in Taiwan. It ends up that I got most of my class failed, because I didn’t really like physics, and friends around me didn’t study that much, so I almost got kicked out of that university. That’s why I come to Santa Monica college to start my career again. Due to my previous experience, I invest extra time in my study, hope to make up for wasting one year in Taiwan. Besides this, when I went back to Taiwan, some of my old classmates made jokes with me because by the time I get my bachelor, they will finish their masters. I have felt guilty for spending more time and money in my education, so now I grab as many opportunities as possible to improve myself. Being a President's Ambassador is important to me because I want to share my experiences and knowledge at SMC. As an international student, I want to share the difficulties I overcame since I first enrolled in SMC to the new fellows. Your presence matters, and PROUD TO BE SMC!!

Alexis Ingrassia

Hello Everyone! My name is Alexis Ingrassia and this is my second year here at SMC. I moved to Los Angeles from San Diego after graduating high school to attend SMC with the intent to transfer to UCLA or UCSD as a psychology major next fall. Coming to Los Angeles to attend SMC by myself was a very hard adjustment but thankfully I chose an amazing school that offers amazing clubs, classes and programs such as President’s Ambassadors that made the transition so much easier. I hope as a President’s Ambassador that I am able to help students coming to SMC that are struggling because SMC is an amazing place to be that has a place for everyone. I would like to help everyone here realize that their presence matters and they truly do belong here! I am grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait for the experience ahead!


Landry Irumva

Landry IrumvaHi! My name is Landry and this is my second year here at SMC. I double major in Political Science and Economics. I am originally from Rwanda and moved to the US a couple of years ago. I am hoping to transfer to either Cornell, USC or Columbia. I am really passionate about criminal justice and hope to go to law school one day. I decided to come to SMC because of its reputation and many opportunities. My first semester here I was lost, confused and mostly kept to myself but once I took advantage of all the opportunities around me all that changed. I am now the Vice President of Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa and serve as a President’s Ambassador. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, hanging out with friends and binge-watching Netflix. This summer I had the pleasure to do an internship with the University of Wisconsin, Law School and LSAC. All these experiences enable me to give back to the SMC community as a President's Ambassador. If you see me around campus, don’t hesitate to talk to me.

Helen Izaguirre

Helen IzaguirreWelcome to SMC, future alumni. This is my second year at this school, and similar to many others I am planning to transfer to either UCB, UCLA, or UCSC. I am focusing on Political Science and Philosophy, hoping to become a future corporate attorney for some big business. I am born and raised in Hollywood, California. So, Santa Monica has always been home for me. I am a first generation college student coming from a Hispanic background. To me my culture is everything, and being able to interact with all of the different international students has been amazing. I am a part of EOPS, FYE, Law Pathways, Scholars, PTK, and of course, President's Ambassadors. It may sound like I am a very involved student, but it was a journey to get to this point. Like many I fell back my first semester and I was very distant, but I got lonely very quickly. All of these programs have brought me closer to so many people. To me being a part of the President's Ambassadors Program is about being part of a family that helps not only themselves but their community.

Maya Joudi

Hello everyone, I am an international student from Tunisia! This is going to be my third year at SMC as a Business and Economics major. Before coming to SMC, I was in a complete different educational system and had very little idea on how the American system worked. I spent most of my life in China, in a french school and the biggest difference with America is how involved a student can get in different organizations and clubs. When I moved here, I found so many opportunities, it was very fulfilling! At that time, I had a strong interest in political sciences and was thinking on majoring in Business and International Relations which led me to joining UNICEF. Later on I joined the honor society Phi Theta Kappa where I became really involved, growing from member to secretary to President. It has been such an important source of motivation, influence and discovery. For the same reasons I joined the President’s Ambassadors Program. I value these life experiences and hope to be able to help others through the knowledge I've gained from my experiences at SMC and also hope to connect different interests, people and create new opportunities. Being involved is a chance and an opportunity to have a platform to be a positive source of influence, come up with new ideas and implement them. That's what I'm hoping to be able to do throughout this year and i’m so glad to be able to work with all these different people, coming from everywhere!

Bo Ok (Linda) Lim

Bo Ok (Linda) LimI was born in Seoul, South Korea. I came to America when I was in 4th grade to attend elementary school. I lived in Portland, Oregon until middle school, then moved to the East Coast near Washington D.C and graduated high school there. I wasn’t quite sure which field I wanted to study. Rather than going straight to university right after high school, I decided to go back to Korea and explore more to figure out the best fit for me. I worked and travelled around different countries. One year before coming to SMC, I became mesmerized by self-driving cars (autonomous vehicles) and I fantasized a future where I was involved in their development. I still have not given up that dream: I started at SMC last year in the spring and am currently studying computer science. My goal is to transfer to a UCs, USC or Columbia University. When I first came to SMC, I was a stranger. I didn’t know anyone to ask simple questions about extra-curricular activities like school clubs, driver’s license, or for finding help in settling in Santa Monica. It was not only my first time being a college student but also my first time living a life alone as an adult. I started working at the International Education Counseling Center and joined a school club called International Student Forum (ISF). Last semester, I was a board member of ISF; this made a huge difference in my SMC experience. By becoming involved in school beyond the academic level, I was able to make many friends with different backgrounds. One of the things I love about SMC is the diversity. Interacting with people who grew up in different countries and learning different cultures is fascinating. Now, SMC feels like my home and school is my comfort zone. As an Ambassador and a Peer Mentor at the International Education Counseling Center, I wish to give back the positive energy that I received from SMC. I want to help other students find their passion and dreams through all the possibilities that SMC provides. I want to share my experiences and knowledge with other students and encourage them to get involved on campus. Most importantly, I want to be a positive influence and send them a message that even if they encounter challenges along the way, they are on their way to success. 

Pinyi Liu

Pinyi LiuHi everyone! I am Pinyi Liu. I’m an international student born and raised in China. I came to the U.S. three years ago as an exchange student by myself, and I end up being in love with this land. So I chose to come to SMC instead of going back home. Now I am entering my third year in SMC as a psychology and environmental studies major. I love both majors because of their own unique value to the world. I am applying this year to UCLA/UCB/UCSB/UCI, as well as the University of Washington and NYU. I would like to be going into the research field, perhaps become a professor. I am actively involved in the campus having joined A.S, clubs, and programs. There are many leadership opportunities at SMC, and they can provide a chance to meet lots of interesting people. Currently, I am an ICC delegate of AGS honor society and was a member of several other clubs such as PTK and ISF. Joining an honor society has helped me a lot with making connections and getting familiar with SMC. I have also been teaching the sustainable workshop to students about environmental concerns and solutions in the CEUS (Center of Environmental and Urban Studies) House. I joined President's Ambassadors to further explore the opportunities at SMC, and to help the students with different goals and background to get through the path of success, and get comfortable in SMC. I love SMC’s diversity and support, and I am glad that I become one of the future alumni of SMC, for it enriches me and helps me to envision who I am able to become. If you see me around, feel free to ask me questions or just say hi:)

Tarik Meziab

Tarik MeziabI was born in Tucson, Arizona. After immediately dropping out of college in 2010, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy and acting. A year later, I was forced to move back to Tucson. During this time, I started taking Astronomy classes at Pima Community College and found a great interest in science. I also began to play the drums during this time. I moved back to Los Angeles in 2014 and enrolled at Santa Monica College for the Fall semester. For the next three years, I studied a variety of sciences including Astronomy, Physics and Chemistry, but didn’t develop an interest in working in science for a career. Having realized that I still wanted to pursue work in the entertainment industry, in Spring 2018 I changed my major to Creative Writing with a focus in Fiction and Screenwriting. It is my hope to write scripts and short stories professionally. I have also had the opportunity to play in the Adult Jazz Combos at the Colburn Community School since Fall 2017. I am appreciative of the amazing teachers and counselors that helped me realize the career path I wanted to follow, and joined the PA program with the intent of giving back to the Santa Monica College community. I hope to help students discover the career path that will bring them satisfaction in life, since I spent so much time following a path that interested me and but made me unhappy. I am thankful for the perspective I developed during my time studying a variety of different sciences, and am excited to apply that perspective to my writing.

Kristina Ngema

Kristina NgemaHi everyone! I am half Georgian and half Guinean, but I was born in Russia and grew up for the most part in Equatorial Guinea. I am an international student starting my third year at Santa Monica College, and I would like to transfer to either Columbia or USC for Business Administration. Since I was a teenager, I always dreamt about studying in the the U.S, and after looking through many options, I felt that SMC was my place to be. During my first year here, I was a Tutor for Russian and Spanish, as well as a Peer Mentor at IEC. Both these experiences helped me realize I deeply enjoy helping other students. In order to have more opportunities to do so, I decided to get more involved on campus and student life. Currently, I am a President’s Ambassador, a Supplemental Instruction Leader and a board member for Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. SMC offers so many opportunities, resources and tools to success, nevertheless, a great number of students walk through their SMC journey without taking advantage of them. I want students to have their best time here before continuing their journey. It should be a fun experience in which they can create unforgettable memories and be motivated. I happened to be one of those students that despite having issues in continuing my studies, thanks to my experience at SMC I was motivated enough to not give up. And this is something I would love to see in my fellow students, the drive to finish whatever goal they proposed themselves and overcome any arisen difficulty. Life has interesting roads that might be filled with obstacles, but at SMC everything that is set can be achieved. It’s one of the reasons why I am a President’s Ambassador, to motivate students to work towards their goals and help them have the most fulfilling experience possible. I am thankful to SMC for the wonderful opportunities it has given me and I am determined to work hard to give back.

Tatiana Quiceno

Tatiana QuicenoHola! I immigrated into the US with my family at the age of 12 from Colombia. I am also a communications major, board member of the Adelante club, and I work at the Adelante center. Ever since I entered high school, I knew I wanted to go to college; I just did not know how. The overall concept of college and university confused me. My parents graduated from Universities in Colombia but they were also uninformed of the system. In addition to this, English as a second language was a barrier in communication with my teachers and counselor, so I was by myself following the path towards further education. After attending different visits from campuses in my high school, I fell in love with the UC’s, especially UCLA. Then I had a teacher who recommended SMC. Ever since, SMC has been like a second home. Sometimes I think I spend more time on campus than my own home, but it is definitely worth it. People here come from all over the world. I learn about different cultures everyday and, most importantly, everyone that I have met is understanding of the diversity here. Therefore, I encourage everyone to open themselves to as many people as they can and not be scared of getting involved. SMC can be really fun if you let it!

Rawad Rizk

Rawad RizkHi! This is my second, and unfortunately last year here at SMC. I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and it has always been a dream of mine to study in the US, particularly computer science. In high school, I really struggled with the application process because of the lack of counseling and knowledge about studying abroad in high schools, so I had to do everything by myself. All the hard work that I put in was worth it. I got into University of Washington and Penn State University, but ended up making the decision to start at SMC in hopes of transferring to UCLA. My arrival to SMC was not what I was expecting. It was very hard for me to socialize and all I did was attend class, go home and eat Domino's. In my second semester, I joined Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, where I met a lot of my current friends and that's how I got introduced to the President's Ambassadors Program. Now that I'm in my third semester, I am witnessing my life completely changing for the better. I realized that computer science was not really for me so I switched to business which I always had a great interest in. I am the SI leader for English 1, a member of the scholars program, I am meeting tons of people and being an Ambassador is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, since I get to give back and help people who may be going through what I went through. When my wonderful journey at SMC is over, my goal is to get into Columbia or NYU and live the Manhattan life. The impact SMC is making on my life is enormous. Here, I am being offered the opportunity to build myself academically, socially, professionally, and I am learning something new from each and every person that I interact with every day. That's why my advice to students is just to talk to people, introduce yourselves to everyone, and believe me, you never know what could cross your path. If you ever see me around campus, don't hesitate to come say hi and tell me about yourself!

Bader Saeed

Bader SaeedHello Everyone! My name is Bader, and I’m a business major. I was born in LA but raised in Malaysia by Yemeni parents. Malaysia was an amazing place to live and start my life but I realized it didn’t have as many opportunities as LA did. So,I moved to LA last year all alone in search for better education and more opportunities. Some of you might ask, why SMC out of all the other colleges/universities? It’s simple, I did my O level exams and only completed 11 years of school so I wasn’t going to be accepted to universities so I found out about community colleges. SMC was by far the best option in terms of education, diversity, and location so why would I search for anything else if it’s probably the best in everything a college can offer. Coming here from a different country all alone wasn’t so easy but SMC felt like home from the first day I stepped in. So far my journey has been full of exciting memories and successes that I’ll look back on in the future. SMC is the best place you can be because there a lot of things to explore and learn about on campus.

Mahiro (Chloe) Sato

Mahiro (Chloe) SatoHi, my name is Chloe. This is my second year at SMC as a film major, and I am also an international student from Japan. When I started SMC, I noticed a lot of students, myself included, not taking advantage of what amazing opportunities SMC has to offer. I started out last year without any friends, barely on campus and at home as a couch potato. I would blame my dull college life on the fact that I was an international student and that I was an outsider. But obviously, I was completely wrong! All it took was finding the courage to talk to someone, and realizing that I wasn’t the only one completely lost and eager to be involved. I joined forces with the friends I made, and the rest is history. Now I am a President’s Ambassador and a board member for Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society on campus. It really didn’t take much to come to where I am today. I just had to see that we all, no matter where we come from, feel the same way when we start college. The reason I became a President’s Ambassador is to help other students, realize what I had realized and see that every single one of us, our presence matters! I’m not going to lie, I still am a part-time couch potato, but please come to say hi if you ever see me on campus, and I hope I can help my fellow students in any way they need.

Miriam Soumekh

Miriam SoumekhHi Everyone! I’m an LA native and first enrolled in Santa Monica College as a high school student in the concurrent enrollment program. I attended a small private school where I was a straight A student and hoped to attend a four-year school after I graduated. However, being a first generation American, my family was unfamiliar with the university system here and applying to college seemed like an impossible feat. Once I graduated high school, I immediately started as a full time student at SMC and was stunned at the new opportunities available. Within my first few weeks of attending classes, I knew SMC was a blessing. From a young age, I have always been passionate about business and after taking a few business courses with amazing professors, I fell in love with the subject and decided I wanted to major in business administration. I then joined several programs and clubs such as the Scholars Program, the Law Pathways Program, Economics club, Students Supporting Israel, and Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus. With each new involvement opportunity comes a chance to meet new people and grow as a person. I am currently in my second year at SMC and hope to transfer to USC Marshall and test out several different business-related fields such as finance and real estate to really find my true calling. As a President’s Ambassador, I hope to give back to the students at SMC and ensure that every student gets involved and is able to experience SMC in the same way that I have.

Amina Swallah, Lead Ambassador

Amina SwallahYaadey {Hello}, I was born and raised in Accra, Ghana (west Africa). I am a biology major with plans to transfer to pursue my dream of being a medical doctor. I am currently part of the STEM 6 cohort, scholars, Black collegians, ISF, PTK, PASU and am also the VP of the Muslim student Association (MSA). I was a very shy girl, but SMC changed that for me. The professors and counselors really cared, helped and supported me to be the person I am today. They motivate me to be confident and to be more involved on campus. I love uniqueness, diversity and support and that’s what SMC embodies. Last year I was an a Presidents Ambassador, and I loved every bit of it. I became familiarized with lots of faculties and the community through many events. I learnt a lot from the program and am humbly blessed to be the Lead president Ambassador this year. Its going to be awesome to work with such hardworking , kind , smart and exceptional individuals who love SMC as much I, and to walk them through the process I went through last year. I encourage you all to be very active on campus, you will come across wonderful people I did. When you see me around campus please feel free to say hi, I won’t bite I promise. As Lead President Ambassadors I hope to encourage students to be themselves , to be unique and to take advantage of the resources SMC has to offer.

Lingyne Wei

Lingyne WeiHi there! I’m a second-year economics major. Born and raised in China, I moved to Singapore when I was 9 and spent the next decade there. Singapore is a small island city-state in Southeast Asia that’s too small to be seen on the world map. The beautiful city of Los Angeles is the third city I call home. I’m looking to transfer to UCLA or Berkeley next Fall. I found my passion when I took an economics class in high school back in Singapore. I chose to pursue economics as it helps us understand the world better. I came to SMC as we have the highest transfer rate to UCs. I was amazed at the amount of resources available to students in terms of transfer assistance, student clubs, programs and leadership opportunities. I am a part of the UNICEF club on campus and this semester I’m honored to serve as club president. I made so many friends in the club and they are like family to me. I was looking to get more involved on campus when a dear friend suggested President’s Ambassadors. I joined President’s Ambassadors to meet more like-minded individuals and help students feel more welcomed. I look forward to making more friends this year and hope to see you around on campus!

Ibrahima Wone

Ibrahima WoneHello everyone, I was born and raised in Senegal and moved to LA in Spring 2017 to attend SMC as a computer science major. Initially my plan was to go study in Canada, but after applying for the visa three times and not getting it I gave up on that option. It was very hard for me to see all my friends leave while I was still trying to figure out where to go and what to do. But in the end it was a very good learning experience as it taught me that even thought things don’t always go your way, you should always keep on moving forward. That’s what I did with the support of my family and here I am today at SMC. I fell in love with the city and the school, and I also got to meet people from all around the world. The beginning was intimidating but also exiting and it’s around that time that I met Maguette, an ambassador, who helped me fit in and be more comfortable by introducing me to people and also to a lot of campus resources. It made me grow as a person and also as a student, so I encourage everyone to get involved, ask questions and exploit all the great opportinuties on campus. I am an ambassador because I value helping others a lot and also because I want to meet as many people as possible so that we can share our stories and learn from each other.

Nassif Zmerli

Nassif ZmerliAhla, salut, Hello. I am a finance major. I joined SMC three years ago and it was a life changing experience on a social and academic scale. I arrived from Tunisia as a scared, misguided and depressed student because of my failure at my previous college . I used to study engineering but I was in a toxic environment where you had to eat or be eaten. My hard work and dedication was not recognized and I felt downsized and humiliated and it made me question my abilities. But it was a blessing; failure made me realize that sometimes a door closes so that a better one opens, and I have learned that only the courage to continue counts. My friend recommended Santa Monica College to me, I saw how prosperous ,successful and blossomed he was so I decided to follow his steps. At first I had a difficult time to fit in and the whole educational system was confusing. After a year of curiosity and persistence I was so fortunate to meet unique friends, who turned into family that were a role model for me. They helped me with my courses , directed me to the right counselors, and welcomed me to their warm circle of friends. They created such a safe and comfortable environment for me that made SMC feel like home to me. At the end of the day we are all still children at heart, no matter how old we get we still need a place to call home, and SMC has been my home for three years now, because without the people we love the most we can not help but feel all alone in this world , and I wouldn’t wish to anybody to feel homesick or lonely .That is why I decided to become a President's Ambassador. I would like to encourage all my fellow future alumni to be involved. This is just a wake up call to start believing in yourselves and get out of your comfort zone to gain the knowledge and the maturity to thrive in your fields and most importantly I want to send a message to everyone that your past failure doesn’t define your success. In fact ,no school does, I will conquer my aim no matter what because of my motivation, dedication and passion. I may have lost three years but life is about waiting for the right moment, after all New York is three hours ahead of California, yet it does not make California any slower. So relax you are not late, you are not early, you are very much in time. Don’t be fooled by this world of perfection that humans play. People may seem like they don’t have any problems, but everyone is human, everyone has problems you are not alone. If you ever see me on campus feel free to say hi. I will always be there to share my past mistakes, my experiences and my accomplishments. I am aware that making a big life change is pretty scary, especially at this age, but do you know what is even scarier? Regret. So be proud of who you are and of your capabilities.

Proud to be SMC!

Skander Zmerli

Skander ZmerliAhla wa sahla! you might be wondering who’s this 23 years old-proud Tunisian that has been selected as a President's Ambassador? I come from a pearl situated in north Africa. Being part of a middle-class family, it was hard for me to unleash my potential in Tunisia, a country where opportunities are restricted. For that, my parents gave everything they had so that I could be provided with an honorable education because they believed that education pays the best interest. Now I am majoring in Business Administration and International Law planning to transfer to either UC Berkeley or Columbia University. I am motivated to make a change! Before being part of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, I was just a boring guy jumping from class to library having no one to be around with but a few, simply because I wasn’t a social guy. After receiving the PTK treatment I became as involved as possible, being a commissioner for PTK’s president and secretary, PTK’s Secretary, co-chair of the HIA project, member of the Debate team, member of the Scholars program, and a volunteer at the general surgery service at Cedars Sinai Hospital. These kinds of experiences, as tough as they were, helped me to build the experience that has shaped me as an individual wanting to make a difference in the world. I shall use these experiences to make the most out of this position. Being a President's Ambassador was something I always wanted to be. In fact, I am beyond proud and grateful to have this opportunity that has been given to me to experience and grasp the REAL definition of leadership while having SMC pride! So, my friends, here’s some advice that I would give you: -Always shoot for gold-Aim high in everything It is an enormous honor to serve you all!