Compton College 2023 Presidential Scholar Bryan Benitez transferred to the University
of California, San Diego in fall 2023 to continue his higher education after earning
two associate degrees at Compton College while also earning his high school diploma.
Bryan Benitez was one of 83 graduates of Compton Early College High School’s class of 2023. He simultaneously attended Compton College and high school, graduating from both this past summer. Benitez, who has a cumulative high school GPA of 4.59 and college GPA of 3.8, has earned two associate degrees, one in arts and humanities and one in social and behavioral sciences, as well as earning an Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) certificate.
Thanks to Compton College’s partnership with the Compton Unified School District in the establishment of Compton Early College High School in 2015, Benitez and his cohort of high school classmates earned both a high school diploma and two years of college credits toward an associate degree at no cost. “I had the opportunity to enroll in college classes that not only piqued my attention, but also pushed me intellectually and helped me prepare for life in the real world,” said Benitez. I've had the opportunity to interact with real college instructors who have inspired and motivated me.”
Benitez transferred to UC San Diego with his major undeclared, however, he is considering earning his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering, possible with a minor or double major in brand marketing. While he doesn’t yet have his future career plans fully defined, he is interested in possibly working for companies such as Apple, Roblox, Google, YouTube, TikTok, or even NASA and SpaceX.
Some of the resources at Compton College that Benitez took advantage of were the Library-Student Success Center, student events and activities, and financial aid, to name just a few. “Compton College has an incredible library, both in person and online, with access to thousands of volumes on a wide range of disciplines,” he said. “The college’s Transfer Center provides students with opportunities to tour four-year universities and meet with university representatives right on the Compton College campus. The variety of free resources offered range from free meals, to book vouchers, to informational workshops about transferring, scholarships, career choice, and more.”
Benitez attributes much of his personal growth over the past years to Compton College. “Compton College’s rigorous curriculum helped develop me into the person I am today,” he said. “The classes not only helped me grow personally, but also prepared me for university life and academics. The challenging courses have increased my knowledge, and I have noticed significant personal development since I began Compton Early College.”
Outside of school, Benitez is active in his community, having completed over 30 hours of community service at a local middle school. He also chose to take on a part-time job while in school and found it to be a challenge, but one that he was able to conquer and learn from.
Benitez and his family are grateful for the opportunity he had to start college early. He encourages other students to take the challenge and enroll in Compton Early College High School. “Seeing me graduate with not only my diploma, but also two associate degrees brought joy and happiness that my father said he had not experienced before,” said Benitez. “I not only left a legacy for my family, but also a pathway for my siblings to follow.”