“Every day you spend in class you should really appreciate all that you have surrounding you. This is a new chapter in life that’s gonna determine your future.”
‘Location, location, location!’ This rule that applies to buying real estate was also very important to Chantal Yamini when she started eyeing Santa Monica College. “I just love the environment here, and the diversity, and the fact that we’re right by the ocean. I’m always watching great sunsets with my friends after school.” But beyond sunsets and swimming, Chantal has other, very pragmatic reasons for choosing SMC.
“We’re the number one school in transferring, and the cost is right. But it’s really the sciences here that impress me. The classes are all so good that every one of them is my favorite.” But it’s in the burgeoning field of kinesiology that Chantal plans to make her mark and shine. “My favorite teacher is Mr. Contarsy, and he’s brilliant! He makes kinesiology a lot of fun, and you can tell that he’s really passionate about what he’s teaching. He absolutely knows what he’s talking about in his field; it’s what he does. And I always feel that he has great love for his subject.” Literally a ‘hands-on’ person, Chantal says, “I’m not absolutely specific yet, but I feel that I want to go into physical therapy or sports medicine. My dad is a doctor, so I have no doubt about getting some work. He has been a big influence on me, and my plan is to transfer to UCLA or Cal State Northridge, and then take it all as far as I can. I’m just very positive about my future.”
When not working on swollen or torn ligaments and muscles, Chantal keeps her fingers limber with the piano. “I love playing Beethoven, and I know and I play almost all of his music,” she says. And she further states, “I’m meeting so many new people here from all groups and ethnicities and ages. And I get to chose all of the right classes, and to do what I like doing. I just have a tremendous feeling of new freedom at SMC. But I also appreciate all of the structure here. And the challenge.”