Sheena Mata

Sheena Mata is a valued member of South Mountain Community College. Like most of her family, Sheena was born in South Phoenix. Sheena loved her childhood in South Phoenix, very nonchalant and carefree. Although she lived a good life, she feels it is a very different one from that of her children.

The first times she heard of South Mountain Community College was because of her grandmother who worked as a security guard on campus.

Sheena was an only child up until 9 years old, and although she had many cousins to keep her company, it made her spoiled jokingly. When she was young she loved to go outside and be outdoors as she wasn’t into video games or online life. 

Sheena loved South Mountain as a child and the amazing, serene, and beautiful nature that was out there. Sheena talks about looking around and remembering from when she was a kid and she reminisces about how different her life used to be, and how her kids will never be able to see the life she used to have. She tells the story about how once, she found a picture of herself as a child, just looked at it, and nostalgia took over. She truly did love her childhood especially because she was surrounded by those who loved her. 

Sheena’s school life was a fun experience. She had a good time and good grades. As she got older she would go to South Mountain high school. She truly thought she should’ve taken more advantage of her time in high school as during her time in high school, she wasn’t really involved in any clubs. After graduation, she wanted to become a nurse but ultimately dropped out because she couldn’t see herself in school. After a while, she said school took a back seat for her and she took a job in the hotel industry and then soon an accounting job. Despite everything, Sheena had a realization that without formal education she wouldn’t get very far. 2010 was the year she officially became a student of South Mountain Community College.

She went into school thinking she could get through it alone and didn’t need anyone. She was proven wrong when she said the culture of the school took her in and the support from other people made her realize she truly needed them. 

This would lead her to the unavoidable road of coming to work at South Mountain Community College. She was attracted to this place because she loved the story of people building this place up and fighting the odds. She thought building the college in a once-thought-bad place with people who would never succeed attracted her. Sheena is happy at South Mountain Community College, and she loves the students and she believes she was placed there for a reason.

NarratorSheena Mata
BirthdateSeptember 22, 1981
Place of OriginSouth Phoenix, AZ
Place of ResidenceSouth Phoenix, AZ
Years Active in South Phoenix1981–present
Recording Duration44:15
DateJuly 9, 2020
Interviewed BySummer Cherland
Story Written ByAngel Aguilera